Do you know what feels even better than digging into Halloween candy, Thanksgiving turkey, and Christmas cookies? Being the only person in the office in January that didn’t put on 10 pounds! It might seem impossible to maintain a healthy diet and fitness routine over the holidays. Many great minds have tried and failed. But a few simple tricks can help you prevent the weight gain, fatigue, and depression that hit most of us in January.
The key is to start now. Are you ready?
Get Enough Sleep
Many of the issues people struggle with over the holidays are associated with poor sleep—weight gain, stress, lack of energy, and moodiness. It’s not always about getting less sleep. You can suffer from the side effects of poor sleep if your sleep schedule changes (as it often does when you take time off over the holidays) . Consuming more sugar and alcohol can also prevent you from achieving the deep sleep you need to stay healthy [2, 3].
If you're a restless sleeper, you may be able to counter it by taking a sleep supplement. Manna Liposomal Sleep Complex contains melatonin, a natural hormone that helps you keep a regular sleep schedule (even when your holiday schedule isn’t!). It also contains a boost of GABA, a calming neurotransmitter that is depleted by alcohol consumption . Sleep supplements give your body targeted nutrition to support good sleep, so you won’t feel groggy in the morning.
Switch to Light Exercise
You don’t have to feel bad about dreading the gym when the weather gets cold. It’s actually natural to feel a bit low energy in winter . It’s not just you! But that doesn’t mean you should abandon your fitness routine entirely. You’ll likely find it more motivating to switch from your rigorous summer routine to lighter exercise in the winter. Try walking instead of running, doing 25 sit-ups instead of 50, or not pushing yourself to the extreme on the weight bench.
If you can’t stand venturing out of your house and into the cold, then work out at home instead. There are plenty of free YouTube fitness videos to explore. Or, you could ask for an exercise bike from Santa!
Take an Anti-inflammatory Supplement
Studies have found that inflammation is a root cause of most illnesses and conditions, from obesity to arthritis to depression and even cancer . In cold weather, your ability to fight inflammation decreases, leaving you extra vulnerable to the effects of poor sleep, overeating, alcohol, and stress . Boosting anti-inflammatory nutrition can give you an edge over the effects of the cold and may help you ward off fatigue, weight gain, and the sniffles.*
An easy way to add anti-inflammatory power to your diet is to eat foods like tomatoes, leafy greens, and fish. But eating salads and sardines on the regular may not be your idea of a holiday treat. Instead, take a curcumin supplement. This natural inflammation fighter comes from turmeric root, and it’s one of nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatories.
Map Out Your Holiday Parties (aka Cheat Days)
You probably know when most of your big meals and parties will occur this season. Work events, holiday dinners, trips to see family—write them all in a separate calendar. This will be your road map indicating when you’re going to eat and drink a lot. These will probably be the days you won’t be able to hit the gym too.
Next, look to the empty days on your calendar and schedule some healthy activities to offset the unhealthy ones. Maybe you arrange a racquetball game the weekend after Thanksgiving, or a juice fast the day after Christmas. Planning in advance is a great way to stay proactive, and it will prevent you from spending too many lazy days on the sofa.
Get Plenty of Vitamin D
Most of your vitamin D comes from the sun, and in the winter, you tend to get significantly less sun exposure. A lack of vitamin D can cause a lot of noticeable changes, including low energy, stress, and weight gain…sound like you're familiar wintertime blues? Not to mention, a vitamin D deficiency weakens the immune system, which is why it’s so common in people who catch COVID-19 and the flu [8,9].
To protect your health and energy levels this holiday season, start taking a vitamin D supplement now. Manna Liposomal Vitamin D3 + K2 has a higher bioavailability compared to other vitamins thanks to Manna’s liposomal formula, and it’s made with extra potent vitamin D3 (compared to the less effective D2 found in many other supplements).* It’s like sunlight in a bottle. Who wouldn’t want that in the winter?
Are you ready for the holidays? There’s no reason why you can’t go all out on that Halloween candy and pumpkin pie. As long as you follow a few of the tips above, you’ll enjoy happy and high-energy holidays. Remember, there’s no better Christmas gift than fitting into your favorite jeans in January!