Some of my personal favorites are: Don’t sit around the snack table at parties; make healthier versions of your favorite dishes; watch your alcohol consumption as it reduces inhibitions that may have you eating more or choosing foods you wouldn’t normally eat; use smaller plates and cups; choose beforehand if/how you’re going to cheat; don’t eat late at night, and remember to consider the calories in drinks.
There is also an abundance of information telling you the importance of exercise. Besides, it’s common knowledge that it strengthens your heart, lungs, muscles and bones, gives you more energy, reduces stress, improves sleep, and much more. Plus, there are always recent studies proving new reasons to do it.
Most Californians know what to do to stay healthy, so why don’t we do it? Why do we overeat, and then exercise less, or none at all, around the holidays when we need it most?
We overeat because it's fun! Holiday foods are especially delicious and it’s tradition to have a plethora of sugary and fatty foods. This leaves us feeling bloated, heavy and less energetic, making exercise exceedingly difficult. We also feel as though we don’t have time because we’re too busy fitting in all the extra holiday shopping, parties, cooking and so on. Most of us procrastinate, deciding to worry about our health after the new year. In the meantime, our jeans get tighter, our blood pressure goes up, we become more stressed and less motivated.
So what is one simple, healthy thing we can easily do that doesn’t make us feel like we’re being deprived of holiday cheer? What will help us to not feel so heavy, so we’ll be more apt to exercise? What can we add to our diets, that costs next to nothing, takes no time to prepare, and is good for us?
The answer is water. Water fills your stomach, making you feel full faster, and helps your digestion, both of which will keep you feeling lighter. Water combats dehydration caused by caffeine and alcohol, which can sometimes cause headaches. It helps rid your system of toxins, and helps your skin look good, which may make you feel better about yourself.
To figure the right amount of water the average, healthy adult needs, take your weight and cut that number in half. That’s how many ounces of water you should drink per day. If you drink alcohol or caffeine, exercise heavily, or simply feel dehydrated, you’ll need more.
You may also need more if you have dark urine, dry skin, thirst, fatigue and even hunger, as these are symptoms of dehydration. If you experience any of these warning signs, take care of the situation right away by drinking extra water. Your body is giving you important information about a problem which, if overlooked, will respond by giving larger and larger clues, until it simply can’t be ignored anymore. Dehydration can cause kidney stones, breathing problems, constipation, headaches, irritability, low blood pressure and rapid heart beat.
Water is not a silver bullet that will cure all the negative body issues caused by poor eating habits and lack of exercise. The best thing to do is follow all the wise holiday tips for eating healthfully and exercising. Do what you know you’re supposed to do. When you splurge, and let’s face it, we all overdo it from time to time, remember the great benefits of drinking water. Whether you follow the healthful tips or not, water will truly be your friend.
So drink up this holiday season! Water, of course. Your body will look better, feel better, and be better. When your body feels good, your mood improves and you will have a healthier, happier holiday season.