Happy belated Thanksgiving! As we move into December, the holidays are in full swing. Let’s talk about how to have a Happy Healthy Holiday season. While the holidays are a time to celebrate, they can also be a time of temptation and stress, so this month I’ll be sharing some tips on how to enjoy your holiday in a happy, healthy way. For my first tip, I’d like to talk about one area of health that is often neglected, easy to change, and provides so many great results when you do: Water Consumption.
How much water do you drink a day?
I really didn’t think too much about this in the past. I would drink when I got thirsty, I would have some water after a run, I’d drink a glass of water with lunch or dinner. But through my training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I learned drinking water has many health benefits I never realized. Here are the top three reasons you should be drinking more water during the holiday season and beyond:
- Increased Energy: Your brain is composed mainly of water. By drinking more water, you can focus and concentrate better. You will be more alert and have more energy.
- Weight Management: Water has zero calories and fills your stomach, thus making you feel full without eating as much. Sometimes mindless snacking is driven by thirst, rather than hunger, so reach for a water bottle instead of a sugary treat.
- Clear Skin: Water flushes out toxins and moisturizes your skin, helping to remove wrinkles and give you a healthy glow. Seriously, check out this article with some real results!
Do you know how much you should be drinking?
Roughly, an adult should be consuming half their body weight in ounces of water. So if you weigh 140 lbs, you need to drink 70 oz of water. This may vary somewhat depending on factors like activity level and even climate, but this should give you a target to start with.
Now we know how much, but seriously, how do you keep track? Here is a tip from your Health Coach:
But keeping tabs on my hydration was tricky at first. But then I looked at one of my water bottles for the gym and noticed on the side it actually measured how many ounces of water it holds. I found 3 different water bottles, that when full, would provide my daily dose of water. So I fill them, keep them in the fridge, and pull them out as needed throughout the day. When I finish one, out comes number 2. If you don’t have 3 water bottles, you can always re-fill one, but when I’m super busy, I found I wasn’t keeping track of my re-fills. Plus I like my water COLD, so it helped to have pre-filled water bottles prepped in the fridge.
My drinking lots of water you can “crowd out” some of the less healthy temptations that arise during the holidays, like cookies and egg nog. I’m not suggesting your cut out all the holiday cheer, but perhaps you can replace one cookie with a big glass of water. Or instead of two cups of egg nog (or whatever your holiday beverage indulgence of choice might be) have one cup of nog and one glass of water. By staying hydrated in December, you can help set yourself up for success in 2015.
Question for you: Do you have a strategy for staying healthy and happy this holiday season? Please share – I’d love to include this in an upcoming blog post.