The typical person eats an estimated 4,500 calories at your average holiday dinner. You would literally have to go on a seven-hours-long run to burn off those calories, warns Harvard Medical School. Between office parties, gift shopping and home decorating, no one has time for that. Survive the upcoming holidays with your health and wellness intact with these four holiday health hacks.
4 Simple, Easy Holiday Health Hacks to Try This Winter
1. Get More Sleep
They say that nothing good happens after midnight. And it also turns out that nothing good happens the day after we’ve stayed up too late.
Researchers at the University of Kentucky found that a lack of sleep makes us more likely to make poor diet choices. In fact, after a bad night of sleep, the average person eats an extra 500 calories the next day!
By sleeping more, you help to balance the hormones that may trigger unhealthy snack cravings or poor appetite control.
2. Watch Out For Liquid Calories
Nearly a quarter of the calories you consume every day are liquid, which makes it very easy to over-indulge.
We’re talking cream and sugar in your morning coffee, fizzy pop or iced tea at lunch, and a sweet cocktail during happy hour.
The problem gets compounded during the holiday season (who can turn down a big mug of eggnog?).
But you don’t have to cut out all drinking this Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Instead, a few subtle ingredient swaps can help you enjoy the family dinner party while also cutting back on your liquid calories:
- Opt for dryer, lower-sugar beverages like a dry red wine
- When making drinks, toss out artificially flavored syrups and instead go for real, muddled fruit or fresh, crisp herbs (it’s also a great way to sneak some antioxidants into your day and boost your immune system)
- Use low- or zero-calorie mixers, such as sparkling water instead of sweetened tonic water
3. Stay Hydrated with a Daily Detox Tea
Staying hydrated helps with appetite control, maintaining a healthy metabolism, and supporting a strong immune system during the cold, dry winter months. Take it up a notch by going for healthy herbal detox teas. It’s the perfect way to increase your fluids while also supporting your body during an indulgent, festive season of sugar, spice and all things nice.
Some great options include:
- Ginger tea to aid digestion and metabolism
- Dandelion tea to support your liver after a night out
- Green tea to enhance your immune system (it’s also high in l-theanine to improve your mood and cognition)
4. Swap Out the Butter and Sugar
If you’re channeling your inner Julia Child and baking up a storm this holiday season, watch out for all that butter and lard that you’ll typically find in Christmas recipes. Beyond just calories, all that grease and saturated fat spells bad news for your arteries (and your immune system).
Healthy ingredient swaps that you can use to replace all or some of the butter in your next round of cookies or cakes include:
- Pureed avocado
- Greek yogurt
Similarly, using cinnamon in your holiday baking also improves how sweet something tastes without actually adding more sugar! Research shows that this holiday spice can also help you to manage your blood sugar levels over the holidays.
Finally, the stress of the holidays (and the accompanying treats and indulgences) can impair your immune system and leave you more susceptible to falling ill. Give your body the gift of BioProPlus-500, an immune-modulating supplement that contains five bioidentical thymic proteins to support your immunity and help your body to better respond to germs and pathogens.
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