If you claim you haven’t had a holiday binge, you’re not lying to me, you’re lying to yourself. No mortal is impervious to the alluring aromas of the Thanksgiving turkey and the Christmas chocolate pudding frenzy, and as a result of that comfort food fiesta, our bodies need time and help to recover.
Plus, it’s still the flu season, and a perfect opportunity to catch a cold with too much eggnog and not enough vitamin C roaming your bloodstream, hence the need to take better care of yourself now that we’re already conquering 2018 one day at a time. And no, you don’t have to resort to fasting or fad diets to get your health back on track, but a few adjustments here and there will make a significant difference for your immune system.
Hydrate like a pro
Most people focus on their diet when it’s time to reclaim their health, and with excellent reasons, but food is not the only part of your nutrition that protects your immune system. In fact, without proper hydration, the right groceries on your menu will be able to do very little to protect you.
So, if you’re having trouble keeping track of your sips, get an insulated water bottle to carry with you at all times and take note of your milestones. Plus, depending on your age, weight and activity levels, you need to adjust your water intake needs, so it’s pointless to stick to that 2-liter limit.
Make snacks beforehand
Now that you’re back to work and with no time to waste, the need is greater to take better care of your snacking habits, because this is how we sneak in most of our unwanted calories and unnecessary evils like processed sugar and trans fats.
Be a chess player when it comes to your snacking. Take a few hours every weekend to make batches of healthy snacks, whether you’re a baking master who loves protein muffins, or you prefer raw fruits and veggies salads, take your pick, just make it healthy and make it last.
Support your diet
After a holiday binge on roast and sweet potatoes, your body is craving some micronutrients to fuel its natural defense mechanisms. And instead of waiting for months for your body to get to its previous glorious state, you can look for vitamins online to supplement your diet properly and make sure you stay healthy all throughout the flu season.
Even if you do manage to focus your diet on fresh vegetables, fruits and lean sources of protein, you might still have a micronutrient deficiency which can be resolved with proper supplementation.
Spring cleaning in the dead of winter
And by that we mean mostly your kitchen cabinets, fridge and any other stashes of sweets and other unhealthy treats you’re hiding in your home. So, when the cravings do kick in, and they are bound to, you won’t be tempted to reach for something you’ll regret later.
As soon as the holiday buzz is over, make sure to start your year fresh, free of sodas, juices that are loaded with added sugars, sweets and similar diet imposters. Get rid of sources of temptation and you’ll be on the right track to curb your cravings.
Amp up on lean protein and fats
The building blocks of life, also known as proteins, are the best ingredient in any diet to help you stay full for longer, and provide your body with enough energy to fight off the winter blues. Combine them with healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids and you have an immunity-boosting bomb.
Amino acids which make up proteins are needed for proper repair and growth of cells, so lean sources of protein such as eggs, fish and chicken are necessary for optimal immune function. Look to almonds, walnuts, and salmon among many other foods for your healthy fats, and keep your diet versatile!
Rest, move, eat, repeat
In addition to taking care of your nutritional needs, you also need to make sure that you’re getting enough physical activity every day, followed by ample healthy sleep. Even a simple 30-minute walk can be helpful and restorative when you can’t make it to the gym, but it’s crucial to keep your body moving, and your muscles engaged to stimulate your immune system.
And after a day of hard work, both mental and physical, you need to get plenty of rest, on a regular basis and for a decent amount of time. Aim for anything between seven and nine hours per night so that your body has enough time to go through all the restorative processes that will repair your immune response and flush all the toxins out of your system.
About the author: Luke is a fitness and health blogger at Ripped.me and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.