November 30, 2016 6 min read

Staying healthy during the Holidays will help you enjoy this best time of the year without guilt for the new coming year.

Christmas spirit is in town! - via @jenna_yttar (L) & @amyleeactive (R)

It’s that time of a year again; the time for sweet treats, gourmet feasts, and family bonding. Yes! We’re talking about Christmastime.

From now until New Year’s Day, you will probably be planning and scheduling family visits, gift shopping, and preparing food. Amongst all this busyness, there’s no surprise staying healthy and fit during the holiday season will move further down the to do list.

However, we believe that although the holiday season is about indulging, it can be done in moderation. So we’ve come up with a list of tips to help you stay on track with your health and fitness routine during the holidays, so you can celebrate a season of indulgences without the New Year guilt.

A. Eat wisely

Eating plays a big part in staying fit and healthy during the holidays. You are often invited to numerous dinners over the Christmas period. It can be hard to control what you eat, as there is often so much delicious food and tempting desserts on offer.

However, there are a few simple tricks that can help prevent us from overeating:

1. Don’t skip breakfast

Having a good breakfast gives you enough energy for the whole productive morning

A great morning begins with great breakfast - and matcha! - via @cestbonn_e

Skipping breakfast is never a good tactic for staying healthy and managing your weight. Not eating breakfast can mess up your overall health. In the long run, your body turns to starvation mode, leading to the slowing down of your metabolic rate. So when you do go back to eating, the body thinks it should store up all the energy it can (aka calories) to prepare for its next starvation period -  even if you end up eating less than normal.

In the short term, not eating until lunch or dinnertime can cause you to overeat. So instead, have a healthy breakfast to kick start the mornings throughout the holiday season. The nourishment will keep you fueled for the whole day too.

Mixing matcha to your favorite breakfast can make your breakfast more healthy and delicious!

Matcha Adzuki Bread (@alterjiwo) & Matcha Avo Smoothie (@thrivingonplants)

So get yourself a healthy matchasmoothie bowl or freshly baked matchamuffins to munch on for your first meal of the day. You can also check out more of our healthy breakfast ideas at Kenko Teahere.

2. Healthy snacking

Similarly, before a big feast in the evening, have a healthy snack to help you temper the urge to overeat too much at those Christmas parties.

Eating healthy snacks can help to activate your metabolism, allowing you to maintain your blood sugar in between meals. A bowl of vegan matchagranola, a few pieces ofdark chocolate filled with matcha or a couple of matcha pistachio cups are just some examples of delicious, yet healthy snacks.

Having healthy snacks before feast time can help you eat less, control your portion and weight management during the Holidays.

Healthy matcha snacks - via @canyourdoctorcookthis, @the_paleo_shack, & @zuzigettingfit

3. Fuel your body with fibre, protein & small portions

Protein and fibre are your friends over the holiday season. Protein is a healthy source of energy for weight management, as it takes more time to digest than other foods, making you feel fuller for longer.

Similarly, fibre simply makes you feel full without adding extra calories to your body, reducing your appetite while allowing you to eat less. Soluble fibre can slow down the absorption of sugars into your bloodstream, lowering your blood sugar and insulin levels, meaning your body is less likely to store fat.

So make sure you serve yourself some turkey or plant-based proteins like legumes, quinoa or veggies. It helps to serve your food on a small plate too, to ‘trick’ your brain into thinking you’re having a larger portion than you are.

4. Don’t forget to stay hydrated

Always drink plenty of water before, during and after big holiday meals. Not only does staying hydrated help you feel full, but it also keeps you away from sugar-filled drinks like soda or juices. Water is the best way to beat the heat at this time of year, keeping you from feeling fatigued.

B. Get moving!

1. Plan your workout routine

Matcha green tea helps your workout performance by increase your endurance and energy for a long time.

Working out with Kenko Tea's matcha - via @tttesselate (L) & @kylraggio (R)

It’s hard to stay active during the holidays as this is often the best time for sleeping in and being lazy. Nevertheless, try to plan a holiday workout routine, setting yourself achievable goals.

You should plan to go to the gym or do some exercise at home early in the morning before you get distracted with parties and visiting friends and family. You don’t have to spend too much time, 15 minutes will do, but it’s a simple way to stay on top of your fitness regime.

Staying healthy with protein-packed and antioxidant-packed matcha snacks after a long workout

Matcha Kale Smoothie (@elocyninoz) & Matcha Bliss Balls (@beautyinpure)

And did you know matcha can actually benefit your workoutperformance? So pack some healthy matchaprotein bars or a nutritious matchaprotein shake to take to the gym with you!

2. Find a workout buddy

Holidays are all about bonding and togetherness, so it’s not a bad idea to find yourself a workout buddy (or buddies) to encourage you to keep fit during the festive season.

Working out needn’t be a solitary activity, so encourage each other to get moving during pre-dinner workouts. This way you can be sure to stay on top of your workout routine, while feeling great too.

Having a workout buddy can encourage you to be on track of your fitness routine during the Holidays season.

Kitty is the best workout buddy, ya know? - via @kaseyhuongdoan

3. Move as much as you can

If you really don’t have the time, or aren’t in the mood for exercise, try and build activity into your everyday tasks. Don’t sit in a room for whole day, get up and take a walk for 15 minutes around your neighborhood. You might even discover something new or encounter people you haven’t seen for awhile.

Instead of parking close to the supermarket doorway, park further away and take a walk to increase your movements. If you are holidaying to someplace new, stroll around the new area on foot or bike instead of taking a taxi or public transportation.

Walking is not only easy but good for your physical and mental health, as it gives you an opportunity to slow down from the busy pace of life. So get moving!

4. Do some gardening or housework

Another way to keep yourself fit and active during the holidays is to keep get on top of household chores. If you have been busy with school, exams or work during the year, the holidays can be a good time out to get some household chores done.

Whether it’s raking the leaves or deep cleaning your kitchen, pottering around the house is sometimes the best way to get your heart rate up while fitting in some exercise in a practical way. Take a break and replenish your energy with a refreshingmatcha smoothie or matchaiced latte in between scrubbing those tiles.

A glass of refreshing iced matcha latte can replenish your energy for any physical activities, including cleaning.

Matcha iced latte after cleaning sounds great! - via @aumanro

C. Improve your mind and emotional well being

For some people, the holiday period can be stressful, depressing and overwhelming. Your to do list can become long and it can be difficult trying to keep all family members happy.

But don’t let it get to you. It’s important to stay on top of your emotional and mental well-being… and here are some tips to help you do it.

1. Spend at least five minutes meditating each day

Meditation in the morning helps sharpen your mind, encourage mindfulness and mental relaxation

Morning meditation can improve your well-being - via

Meditation helps you to relax your muscles and breathe deeply. Meditation is also a good way to practice mindfulness, which encourages emotional relaxation, improves self-esteem and optimism, and lessens stress and anxiety.

Instead of turning to food or alcohol to cope with stress, meditation can help prevent emotional over-eating and drinking, which is great for both your mind and body. So take at least five minutes after waking up and before going to bed to free your mind while in a meditative state.

2. Switch to matcha green tea or herbal drinks

Since ancient times, people have been drinking teas and herbal drinks in spiritual and holistic rituals, to help improve and relax their minds and bodies.

Herbal teas and matcha green tea are known to be a drink for improve your mental well-being and physical health

Start your day right with matcha tea - via @ carlylancasterblog

Matcha consists of both caffeine and l-theanine - asynergy that strengthens cognitive focus while enhancing mind relaxation. Matcha is the perfect drink to help you stay on top of your holiday to do list without feeling stressed.

3. Get enough sleep

Feeling drowsy and heavy-eyed is not how you want to start the holiday season. The amount of sleep you get defines your energy levels and productivity for your day.

Having enough sleep is a good way to stay healthy during the Holidays. A cup of matcha after waking up helps refill your energy for a brand new day!

Time for some beauty sleep - via @ebony_walton

Moreover, lack of sleep is linked toweight gain as you are more tempted to eat in the anticipation of a sugar rush.

So no matter how fun the party is or how much more work you need to complete, wrap it up at a reasonable hour and try to get a good night's sleep!

4. Stay positive and stress-free

Matcha green tea can increases the level of dopamine which helps your mind relax, stay positive and happy!

Green, Bright, Positive, & Stress-free! - via @michelleharsworld

Keeping yourself positive and stress-free is a difficult task when it can cause financial or interpersonal stress.

It is ok to take a break from these pressures, forget the schedule and just do what you want to do. Set realistic Christmas goals and don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t go to plan.

Remember to treat yourself - it is the festive period after all! You’ll feel better for it, and ready to rock the best time of year.


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