Health is personal. So is finding a healthy routine that works for you long term.
Generic “how to” articles simply offer standard suggestions and vague ideas on steps to stay healthy. We don’t know about you, but for us, standard and generic simply are not good enough. We care much more about specific, personalized health goals and routines.
That is why we reached out to MDs, registered dietitians (RDs), and other health professionals to understand specific examples on how they get back to healthy post holidays.
We hope their examples inspire you to review your own lifestyle and determine, which, if any, could help you further personalize your approach to health in 2020.
“In order to truly transform your diet and lifestyle, you have to dig deeper and take a look at your habits. Identify what habits could benefit from changing in order to set yourself up for success in your health goals,” explains Joanna Foley, RD, CLT of Joanna Foley Nutrition.
Here are eight ways health professionals develop a healthy routine after the holidays. The overarching theme: start small and make long term commitments, quick fixes are not the answer.
I Assess My Body, Then Personalize My Plan
Ashley Koff RD, CEO, The Better Nutrition Program
Post holidays I focus on resetting my total health. I begin with a total nutrition assessment to see what’s fallen off and what will produce the biggest wins. For example, is my intake of added sugar or alcohol too high, is my intake of fiber and water too low? Then I set a 60 day plan with 15 day checkins- the goal is to go from not better, to ok, to better. I do NOT set a goal that exceeds something I wasn’t doing before the holidays.
I Allow Myself a Break, but Specifically Plan a Restart
Dr. Lina Velikova, MD, Ph.D., Sleep Expert and contributor to disturbmenot.co.
During holidays, I make sure to slow down and sleep more. Being well-rested, I make sure to set some boundaries with the duration of the festivities. After a specific date, I go back to usual, healthier food and workouts. What makes it work is that I allow myself the time off during the holidays, during which I fully indulge in eating whatever foods I want. I mentally prepare for the first day of going back to normal, so it doesn’t come as a shock.
Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, MD, Family Physician and Medical Advisor at LoudCloudHealth.com
I allow myself to enjoy the holidays as much as I can after which I plan for three ‘recovery’ days. During this time, I try to drink as much water and herbal tea, always cook my own food, avoid sugar and eat a lot of nuts and fruit instead. Additionally, I try to get enough rest so that my body can recover and get back to my normal routine.
I Add Back In Healthy Habits That Will Make Me Feel Better
Kelsey Lorencz, RD, Simply Nourished Home
The holidays are full of cookies, treats, and erratic eating. After the fun is over, instead of giving things up or going “all in” on eating a certain way, I look for things I can add that will make me feel better and give me more energy. Planning meals that are veggie centered and including more produce in my cart at the grocery store helps to eat better without feeling deprived or stuck in a strict diet.
I Make Small Changes
Liz Wyosnick MS, RDN and owner of the private practice Equilibriyum.
To reaffirm my health intentions after the holidays, I focus on adopting ONE specific focus within my eating, and ONE specific focus within movement. I find that a narrowed focus on only a couple intentions is most manageable, and I choose a positive change or addition, as opposed to declaring things to eliminate, avoid, or restrict. For me, this allows for a more gentle transition into the new year because, let's face it - the dark and cold weather of my Pacific Northwest winter does not scream salads and high-intensity sweat sessions. My focuses this year? Make vegetarian dinners 5 nights/week and go to yoga 2xs/week at my favorite local studio.
I Try Not to Get Too Far Off Track
Lisa Richards, Nutritionist, The Candida Diet
After the holidays it can be difficult to get back on track with your health routine, but the longer you wait the harder it becomes. I try not to get too far off track during the holidays while still enjoying family and the festivities, but getting back to a normal health routine quickly is important.
I set a date in my mind and stick with it. To replenish my gut's health from the sugar and refined carb overload I begin taking my probiotic, if I've stopped, and bulk up the whole grains and prebiotic foods in my diet. These steps will help my health back on track by reducing inflammation, balancing my gut health, and giving me a boost of motivation and feelings of accomplishment.
I Am Intentional
Kathleen Oswalt, MS RDN CLT Registered Dietitian, eatloveTRIATHLON
I go back to the basics and what works for me throughout the year, it's about being intentional. I start by signing up for a specific class at the gym, it's a sure fire way to get me there, for me it's accountability. I get back to meal planning so I'm eating a well thought out predominantly plant-based diet. I also make sure I'm focusing on my water intake and sleep all moving me back into my healthy life and what works for me most of the time.
Melissa Morris, ACSM certified exercise physiologist, ISSN certified sports nutritionist, writer at EffortlessInsurance.com
I am signed up for a half marathon at the end of February (Gasparilla!) and that keeps me accountable. I also go to a fitness studio where you have to pre-book classes and you get charged if you cancel within 8 hours so I’m locked into going even when I don’t feel motivated to go.
I Fit My Healthy Routine Into My Lifestyle
Kelsey Lorencz, RD, Simply Nourished Home
To get into a healthy routine post holiday chaos, I always look at what I can change, not what I can add to my schedule. By looking at what I already do and subbing the tasks or routines that are not serving my health with ones that are there is less stress and burnout compared to if I were to add activities or routines to my life.
I Focus on a Healthy Breakfast
Ilana Buchbinder, MB (masters in biotechnology) RDN CDN
I start my post holiday health routine by focusing on eating a healthy breakfast filled with protein and fiber. Examples include yogurt and berries, whole grain toast with nut butter and an omelette with your favorite sautéed vegetables! Starting your day with the right balance of macronutrients sets up a domino effect for additional healthy eating choices throughout the day!
Personalize Your Approach to Health in 2020
At Rootine, we believe that creating a vitamin regimen 100% personalized to you is critical in supporting all of your health goals.
That is why we examine your DNA, monitor your blood levels, and consider key lifestyle habits when creating a custom vitamin mix specifically for you.