Holiday Nutrition | Inside Out Strength and Performance Physical Therapy Carlsbad California

5 REALISTIC Tips to Keep You on Track This Holiday Season

5 REALISTIC Tips to Keep You on Track This Holiday Season

By Lindsey Paczkowski, PT, DPT Pn1

The leaves are changing colors from the bright greens to the yellow, red and orange hues, the days are becoming chillier, for at least a brief part of the morning here in San Diego. It’s finally the season for all things pumpkin spice, which kicks off the holiday season filled with social outings revolved around apple picking, work potlucks, and family gatherings with a variety of delicious and decadent foods. You’ve been working hard on your fitness goals over the summer and are looking to continue full steam ahead into the new year. How can you manage to keep this momentum going as you head into the holiday season? Don’t worry, here at IO we’re rooting for you and your dedication to your fitness goals and healthy lifestyle changes so we have provided you with 5 tips to keep you on track and moving forward this season.

This is because our ankle joints are designed to be very mobile. If we are missing mobility here, which tends to gradually happen over time due to our footwear and our habits, then other joints have to compensate. When a mobile joint becomes stiff, then other joints above and below the joint (that are not designed to be mobile) suddenly end up becoming more mobile than they should be. When a joint that is supposed to be strong and stable becomes mobile, problems tend to happen. This is where overuse injuries occur that make up such a large portion of people we see in our performance physical therapy clinic.

Eat slowly and stop eating when you’re 80% full

Practicing the habit of eating slowly and stopping before feeling stuffed allows your body to intake an appropriate amount of food and also gives us the opportunity to check in with our body’s hunger cues. Ever find yourself munching on snack and within minutes only crumbs are left? Distracted and rushed eating interfere with our body’s signal of being full and satisfied. As much as we focus on WHAT and HOW MUCH we are eating, we encourage you to take note of HOW you are eating.

Eat more vegetables than fruit

As the saying goes, ‘Always eat your veggies’, we recommend getting a serving of non starchy vegetables at each meal (ie. broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach etc).  We suggest using your first to determine your vegetable portions. For men 2 fists worth and women 1 fist size worth of vegetables.  To learn more about using your hand to help manage portions, click here.

Choose mostly whole foods with minimal processing

The fact of the matter is we have a lot of options for food choices at our fingertips.  Although the food may be convenient and easily available the actual quality of ingredients inside them isn’t necessarily the best choice for your body. We recommend choosing foods with little to no additives and the shorter the ingredient list in general is usually better. Look for ways to pack snacks from home such as vegetables, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, canned fish, fresh fruit–your body and bank account will thank you for it. At social gatherings look for  fresh vegetables and fruit options…if it’s a potluck bring a dish that you know you will enjoy and keep you on track.  We love to bring options like homemade beet or pumpkin hummus with veggies, guacamole and cucumbers, or a colorful salad with a simple homemade dressing.

Drink plenty of water

The holidays involve a wide variety of foods and drinks. Ensuring you are staying hydrated with WATER allows your body to continue to function well, your skin glow, mental clarity as you catch up with relatives and friends and appropriate function of our fluid balance. To avoid dehydration we recommend daily water intake of half of your bodyweight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150lbs we encourage drinking at least 75 ounces of water daily. If you are an active individual, live in a drier climate, or sweat a lot, we recommend increasing your water intake.

Catch some quality zzz’s!

Quality sleep is important for our health physically and mentally.  I think we’ve all had times when our sleep quality or amount has been low and see how drastically our mood, decision making and energy levels can be affected. Prioritizing your sleep during the holiday season is crucial for your health, avoiding sickness, maintaining adequate energy levels with work, workouts and while attending all the events in your social calendar.  Remember, the food we consume impacts our sleep and sleep quality too! Foods high in magnesium, calcium and fiber promote sleep, support health and packed with helpful nutrients for our bodies to function. Foods we recommend for a better night’s sleep include: nuts (walnuts, almonds), turkey, herbal non-caffeinated teas (chamomile, peppermint, or our favorite Sweet and Spicy), tart cherries (avoid ones with added sugar!), leafy greens such as kale and spinach. 

Check out The Model Health Show’s 21 Tips to get the Best Sleep Ever for strategies to improve your sleep quality!

Remember these 5 realistic tips to keep you on track as you jump into the holidays and enjoy connecting with the ones around you. When you take charge of your mindset, your health–nutrition included, and your refusal to settle for average – you have the opportunity to accomplish everything you were capable of. Don’t hold anything back, you only get one life to live.

Interested in Nutrition Coaching?  Follow the link to connect and schedule your FREE consult with an Inside Out Nutrition Coach today!