Tips to maintain your health goals for the holidays and beyond

  • 3 Minutes Read

Looking for tips to stay healthy during the holidays? Check out these ideas from other health-minded people!

healthy tips for the holidays

Why the holidays are a good time to use health tips

It can take some creative strategies to maintain a healthy balance during the holidays. So, how can you keep from breaking your momentum during a hectic holiday schedule when surrounded by endless temptations?

On the one hand, you could ignore holiday invitations just because you know rich foods will be there. Well, that doesn't really work because there will be cookies and candy everywhere else during the holidays-treats from the neighbors, the spread in the breakroom at work, and samples in the stores. On the other hand, you could go full-throttle, overindulge, and skip exercise from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. But this only leaves you frustrated and less healthy by the end of it. Besides, this black-and-white thinking does not work well for a healthy body, mind, and spirit.

Here are some healthy holiday tips from health-minded people

We can gain inspiration from others when pursuing a healthy lifestyle. So, I spoke with people I admire for their beneficial balance and asked them to share some healthy tips for the holidays that may inspire you to maintain a strong focus. Keep in mind, what works for one, may not work for another. So, always personalize your strategies, and find what works for you among these nuggets of motivation and inspiration.

1. What holiday health tips help keep the season from becoming a decadent free-for-all?

Barry: "If I know there's going to be an opportunity where a lot of food will be available, then I try to balance the effects by eating smaller portions leading up to the food event and afterwards. I'll eat more healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, the rest of the day in order to balance out the calories."

Karen: "I tend to eat smaller portions of the food provided. This way, I get to try everything without feeling too stuffed."

Joanne: "I try to eat smaller portions of foods I enjoy. I also really enjoy trying new things but keep the portions small, often splitting with others. I have learned that overeating just results in me feeling physically uncomfortable and stuffed. It is just not worth it."

Meredith: "I normally eat small meals and snacks every few hours, so I will try to have something before a party, so I'm not very hungry when I arrive. I can also usually find something healthy, like a veggie tray or salad, and load up on that. I try to enjoy one or two indulgences as well, though, just keeping portions of those very small."

Ricardo: "I avoid overindulgence during the holidays by taking smaller portions at a big meal, and I try not to go back for seconds."

Eva: "Instead of saying I am going to go over the top, I try a little of each treat so I can still enjoy everything. My mom gets upset when the family doesn't eat her food, so by trying a little bit of everything, she is happy, and I am content but not uncomfortably stuffed."

Monique: "Try not to be black and white. Give yourself permission to enjoy holiday foods that you may not normally eat or keep in the home. Don't be so hard on yourself when you eat them but really enjoy and savor the smaller amount."

Liz: "I splurge on the holiday itself, for example, on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, but not all season long. I try to eat like usual on the other days of the season."

2. Do you have strategies for including exercise/physical activity during the holidays?

Barry: "I try to stay active as much as possible during the holidays, but with everything going on, it can be challenging. But even if I do slack off during this time, I still get some form of exercise and commit to it. Once the holidays are over, I up my workout routine to work off any weight I might have gained."

Karen: "I have been trying to go for walks during my lunch hour at work. It is hard for me to exercise after I get home from work, so incorporating it at lunch seems to be a good goal. It also reduces the stress that seems to come with the holidays."

Meredith: "I feel better when I stick to my fitness routine, so I just commit to making time for it, even if it's only 30 minutes to do a quick workout at home. Although I haven't done any, there are also lots of holiday 5Ks around-that would be a good way to stay active and participate in a festive event!"

Ricardo: "l exercise regularly all year but ramp up my volume during the holidays."

I hope you gain inspiration from these healthy tips for the holidays as much as I do!

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Holidays / Parties->Winter Holiday Season
Dec 15, 2021
Brenda Braslow
Brenda Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

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