The holidays are a time to enjoy the company of your friends and family, and oftentimes, rich food and laying around are just part of the equation. And while we very much wish there was a magic pill that let you eat whatever you wanted while crushing season after season of Netflix original, there’s just not.
You know what the closest substitute is though? Water. It’s true: water just might be your secret weapon throughout the holiday season, helping you navigate holiday buffets in moderation and stay active. Here’s how water helps you keep up your healthy habits during the holidays.
Water Fills You Up
We’d never suggest that you skip your favorite seasonal treat (looking at you, peppermint bark) or feel guilty about hosting a food baby for (several) hours after a holiday meal. Eat whatever you want, and enjoy the heck out of it — that’s what we plan on doing.
That said, it’s still possible to enjoy the holiday food and drink without going up another pants size. We like to call it “everything in moderation.” Very revolutionary, we know.
One of the best ways to eat a balanced, festive diet is to make sure you’re drinking enough water (we suggest aiming for half your body weight in ounces per day). Of course, drinking water is essential to keeping your body functioning smoothly, but did you know that it’s also been shown to help suppress appetite? True story.
Plus, sometimes your body gets confused and thinks you’re hungry, when in fact, you’re just dehydrated. Make it a point to drink at least a full glass of water (and maybe more, if you have a reusable water bottle) before diving headfirst into the holiday buffet.
Making “Spirits” Bright (Without the Hangover)
Raise your hand if you’ve ever had one too many glasses of eggnog, or spiked hot chocolate, or mulled wine, or some combination of the above. You wake up the next day with a splitting headache from dehydration, swearing off drinking forever.
Well, maybe not forever. Because the fact is, the simple act of alternating alcoholic drinks with water can save you a ton of calories and help protect you from a raging hangover. Research shows that the average American adult takes in 100 calories a day from alcohol, a number that’s sure to spike (pun intended) during the holidays. Once you finish a drink, pledge to finish a full glass of water before grabbing your next libation.
Worried about sticking out if you’re not drinking? Make your beverage of choice a sparkling water with lime or lemon. We’re also obsessed with fruit-infused water, whether we’re drinking it in our own personal fruit infuser water bottle or serving it to the group in a pitcher with fruit infuser stick.
One last suggestion: offer to make the party punch. You can use sparkling water to cut back on calories and make the punch a little more hydrating (and a lot less sugary).
Water (and Coffee!) Cleanse Your Palate
You know how sometimes (and maybe this is just us), you finish that slice of holiday pie and promise that it will be your last — but ten minutes later, the delectable taste is still in your mouth, and suddenly you’re two bites into another slice?
Water can help with that. Drink a full glass of water immediately upon finishing your last bite, and you’ll help rinse some of those lingering tastes out of your mouth. As mentioned before, water may suppress your appetite, so you’ll be more likely to feel full. Plus, water aids digestion, so your fullness goes away faster.
Craving something with a little more body? Reach for that after-dinner espresso. It’ll help you digest, and it’ll also prevent you from immediately falling into a food coma. If you don’t have time to stick around after the party, try taking it home in a travel mug.
Water Makes Workouts Easier
When you drink water, it oils up your muscles, organs, and joints, making it easier for them to function during a workout. Water gives your muscles strength and flexibility, and it prevents stiffness in your joints. Plus, water moves oxygen and glucose throughout your body, which helps you recover between sets and keeps your energy levels high throughout a workout. Finally, water helps your cells keep a balance of electrolytes and fluids, which is a major key to having the best workout possible. Phew. We’re exhausted just talking about it.
We love the holidays, and we’re excited to celebrate all season long with our friends, family, co-workers — and our reusable water bottles. Make a water bottle a part of your holiday season this year!