by Anthony Muccioli

With the holidays coming up it is easy to fall into bad habits such as overeating, eating poorly, and not getting enough sleep. Here are five tips that will help keep you on track with your health and nutritional goals this holiday season.

1. Eat mindfully

Eating mindfully means eating slowly, choosing nutrient dense foods, enjoying your meals, and being aware of the specific foods you’re consuming. Doing these things will lead to better digestion, increased hydration, better sleep quality, and greater satisfaction from your meals.

2. Sleep more

Getting 7-9 hours of sleep is the optimal amount for all adults and 8-10 hours is for adolescents. Poor sleep can disrupt appetite regulation, lead to low energy, and cause you to feel hungrier. Poor sleep is also linked to excess body fat. So it is extremely important to get yourself into a routine and to make sure you are allowing your body to recover by getting enough sleep.

3. Eat the rainbow

Eating a variety of different colored vegetables and fruits is important because each fruit and vegetable provide specific micronutrients and phytonutrients that are important for your body’s everyday functioning. For example green vegetables such as spinach are rich in the phytonutrient lutein which plays a major role in eye health. So eating different colored fruits and vegetables as often as you can is important for your body’s health and everyday function.

4. Make small changes

Make small changes to your eating habits over time. Making a small change such as making sure you eat breakfast every morning will go a long way. Making too many changes at once can be overwhelming and is one of the main reasons why people don’t stick with their nutrition plan. Gradually making changes over time will set you up for long term success.

5. Eat nutrient dense foods compared to calorie dense foods

Nutrient dense foods are foods that have a high nutrient content (vitamins and minerals) in relation to their weight. These foods not only provide nutrients but they also optimize digestion and increase meal satisfaction. These are whole foods such as broccoli, salmon, and potatoes just to name a few. Eat more of these foods and less of the calorie dense foods such as french fries, cake, cookies, etc.