Here are 5 Tips on How to Keep a Healthy Thyroid During the Holidays to help keep your health on track while celebrating and enjoying time with friends and family.
The holiday season is meant to be enjoyed spending cherished time with our friends and family. Oftentimes, during all of the holiday festivities, our health and wellness gets put on the back burner. Making time to squeeze in a daily workout or cook a healthy meal becomes non-existent.
Sometimes it may seem impossible to stay healthy during the holidays with all of the holiday parties and celebrations. While I can’t make the healthy decisions for you, I can offer you 5 simple ways on how to keep a healthy thyroid during the holidays while celebrating and enjoying time with friends and family.
Holiday Thyroid Health Tips:
Staying Active During the Holidays
One of the first things we give up when we’re in a time crunch is exercise. During the holidays, you don’t need to spend hours in the gym. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each day which can include walking, biking, hiking, walking the dog or anything you enjoy.
While exercising is not a substitute for thyroid replacement medication, exercise can help you manage symptoms of hypothyroidism and boost your health in the long run. Our bodies need to move, which is why we must make it a priority to stay active, even when we feel like we’re too busy.
Meal Plan for Hypothyroidism
The second thing we often give up during the holiday season is eating healthy food. It’s quicker to swing by a fast food restaurant or grab takeout than to cook a healthy meal. This occurs because we often deviate from our normal routines. One of the most important routines that can benefit in Hypothyroidism weight gain, is meal prepping.
No one is asking you to deny yourself any of your holiday favorites, but try to enjoy them in moderation. Overindulging on sugar and carbs increases inflammation, which can contribute to fatigue, gut imbalance, body aches and pains and autoimmunity.
A balanced healthy lifestyle is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Set aside some time on the weekend to prepare main components of the meals, proteins, carbs and fats, that way during the week it’s easy to mix and match dishes that have already been prepared for you to grab and eat with little to no thought.
It’s known that sufficient water intake helps boost a person's metabolism, even in someone without hypothyroidism. For those suffering from hypothyroidism, it is even more important to stay hydrated. This also means that your water intake should be greater than your caffeine/alcohol consumption.
Alcohol and hypothyroidism are not a good match. Since dealing with hypothyroidism, I've learned that alcohol is a diuretic and can dehydrate the body. It also causes various processes in the body to slow down, and since alcohol is also a depressant, drinking it causes them to slow down even more.
Start your day with a glass of water, at least 2 cups, to rehydrate yourself after a long night of sleep. Continually sip water throughout the day, aiming for at least 8 glasses of water. If you do drink an alcoholic beverage, try to follow it with a glass of water. Having at least one glass of water with every alcoholic beverage can help replenish your fluids and help you stay hydrated.
Remember to Take Your Medication On Time
Your daily schedule or routine is likely to change around the holidays. Being consistent with taking your medication, as well as the time you take your medication is equally as important as exercising and eating healthy. Forgetting to take your thyroid hormone replacement medication can cause many health risks.
Some of these risks may include:
- Muscle weakness
- Joint pain
- Memory problems
- Weight gain; or the inability to lose weight despite diet and exercise
- Increased risk of infection
Most thyroid medication should be taken on an empty stomach 30-60 minutes before your first meal of the day, or three or more hours after your last meal of the day. Talk to your doctor about the best time of the day to take your medication.
Mindfulness and Mindset
Holidays are a time to celebrate with friends and family and the celebration typically involves food and drinking. Focus on practicing mindful eating. This will help you to digest your food properly and aid in not consuming excess calories. Be mindful when eating, eat slowly, and stop eating when you start to feel full.
Recognize that you can in fact indulge a little during the holidays and not feel like you’ve undone all of your hard work. This is a journey and a lifestyle, meaning that your life will include days where you may eat healthier than others. Don’t let the feeling of guilt keep you from enjoying the holidays.
If you happen to overindulge a bit, try not to give in to the diet culture mindset of judging foods as “good” or “bad” and for your next meal, fill up on more nutrient-dense foods like veggies. It matters more what you put in your body on a daily basis. So remind yourself that it’s just one meal and one day to enjoy with friends or family.
Do you have any healthy holiday tips that I forgot to include in this list?
Leave a comment below.
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Disclaimer: I am not a Registered Dietitian or Physical Trainer. The nutrition and diet information provided on my blog is not to be interpreted as medical nutrition therapy or advice. If you are on any medications for chronic disease or other health issues, please consult your doctor or health care provider before making any significant changes to your health and wellness.