Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

It’s that time again – the season of holiday festivities! As the season ushers in copious amounts of parties, traveling, late nights and feasts, one’s healthy habits can get chucked right out with the fruit cake. I have personally discovered that without a good plan of attack for the holidays, I am prone to overindulge, skip the exercise, and guiltily saunter into January afraid of stepping on Mr. Scale. Not fun.

Here are some tips to help us enjoy the holiday season, and happily step into the new year as healthy as ever. Any other ideas for celebrating the holidays healthy-style?

  • Use the buddy system: find a friend (spouse, family member, online support group, etc.) who has similar hopes of staying healthy, and help each other follow through with your health goals during the holidays. Peer accountability is extremely powerful.
  • Don’t go to a party hungry: we often eat faster and more when we are hungry – therefore eat a wholesome breakfast and lunch to avoid overeating at the party.
  • Bring a healthy dish to share: people will appreciate your veggie platter amidst the sea of pies and cookies.
  • Watch your portions: use a small plate, and go for small portions. Think of it as sampling all the different foods. Moderation is key.
  • Keep your meals balanced: make some room on your plate for fruit and vegetables, in addition to the other foods. This way, you will get to indulge as well as receive valuable nutrients and vitamins.
  • Indulge a little: be sure to enjoy some of the specialty foods you really love. A few bites of cheesecake will do you some good.
  • Nurse your plate (and drink): pace yourself by taking little rests between bites. Wait 20 minutes before getting another plate of food from the buffet. You’ll often find that you’re no longer hungry.
  • Hang out with people, not the food: socialize away from the buffet table, bar or kitchen. You will be less likely to mindlessly eat the entire cheese platter.
  • Drink plenty of water: alcohol and coffee can dehydrate your body, and can add to your caloric intake. Stick to water as much as possible.
  • Get some exercise: it’s important to maintain your physical activity during the holidays. Talk a walk with a friend, hit the gym, play some football, whatever it takes to be active.

22 thoughts on “Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

  1. Thanks for the advice! Too bad all of the people I could buddy up with are the ones trying to stuff my face full of cookies and other holiday treats. Why can’t sugar be really good for you?

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  2. You know, I was smiling all the way as I read through the list because I would so NOT be able to do this! I am bad, bad, bad! <>The buddy system?<> When it comes to food, my husband is worse than me – I’m the one to have to be the human barrier to the buffet table. <>Watch your portions?<> Uhm, okay, a little bit of <>everything <>won’t hurt. <>Hang out with people, not the food.<> Tell that to your italian mom-in-law that wants to stuff you to death. And the local parties at home?! All they tell you is eat! eat! eat! No scade, no shame l’dat, help yo’self get plenny grinds! Yikes… Great list, I’m rooting for ya!

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  3. Sorry…that last comment was from me but I screwed up my link. Here’s what I said, with the right link (hopefully)Good advice! But it tastes so good! I just started a < HREF="http://eatfordinner.blogspot.com/" REL="nofollow">food blog<>. Check it out if you’re interested. Also, I’m pretty sure I added you to my access list after having changed my day-to-day blog status to private, but if you’re having trouble accessing it, please let me know.

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  4. Love these! I have two parties on Sat. night, one of which we’re supposed to bring something to. The standard “veggie platter” never gets any attention, but I wonder if it would be more fun w/ hummus and pita bread. Maybe with slices of cucumber. Okay yum. That platter would get devoured at a party – don’t ya’ think???Another one of my pre-party tips – work out! HARD! Get in a good hour at the gym that way in case you DO see something at the party worth REALLY indulging in, you know you’ve earned a piece.

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  5. Great tips! Will def be keeping them in mind…especially since I feel like I’ve been gaining weight recently thanks to me being lazy and not hitting the gym at all, then starting a new job and just not having the TIME! (I know, excuses, excuses…o well.)🙂

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  6. Ha! I enjoyed this post and other people’s comments. Especially about the eggnogg! I think for me the bad part comes in with “topping off” drinks or refilling a plate before it’s empty. 😉

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  7. I always take a 3 week hiatus from diet and exercise and start again on Jan 2. Three weeks doesn’t kill anybody. Key thing is…don’t step on the scale until February!

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