Healthy Holiday Tips

The holidays are a time to celebrate, enjoy friends, family and food.

Even though every holiday event may seem like an excuse to splurge, the consequence just might be the worst kind of post-party affliction: a food hangover.

Whether you want to avoid overeating and gaining those extra pounds, you need to control your blood sugar, or you simply wish to consume only what your body requires, the holiday season can make that goal challenging.

But, contrary to what you may have been told, you don’t need to deprive yourself, eat only boring foods, or take your treats with a side order of guilt. Instead, focus on a healthy balance of food, activity, and fun.

By having a plan and implementing a few simple tips, you can stay healthy through the holiday season.

  1. Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. A moderate and daily increase in exercise can help partially offset increased holiday eating. Try 10- or 15-minute brisk walks twice a day.
  2. Know what foods help you feel and do your best, then focus more on giving your body what it needs. Eat sweets in moderation and make sure you also get protein, fiber and healthful fats. Aim for 7 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. They’ll satisfy your stomach without adding empty calories and the fiber will help you feel full.
  1. Never go to a party hungry. Eat healthy food before going to a party so it is easier to indulge in moderation.
  1. Be mindful with beverages. Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and induce overeating; non-alcoholic beverages can be full of calories and sugar. If you drink, do so in moderation. Plan what and how much you’ll drink before you attend a social event. Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, such as sparkling water with lime, to help pace yourself and stay hydrated.
  1. Practice Healthy Holiday Cooking. Preparing favorite dishes lower in fat and calories will help promote healthy holiday eating. Try this recipe in place of the traditional Egg Nog:

Quick Holiday Nog

Four bananas

1-1/2 cups skim milk or soymilk

1-1/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt

1/4 teaspoon rum extract

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Blend all ingredients except nutmeg. Puree until smooth. Top with nutmeg.

Click here for more healthy holiday cooking tips!

Click here to print a chart with 8 Surefire Strategies to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain.

You CAN enjoy the holidays.

Keep in mind…

If you eat more than you planned for, don’t think you’ve failed. Focus on enjoying the company of those around you and the next day, get back on track with healthier choices.

Focus on what matters. The holidays are meant to be a special time of year so remember to focus on friends and family. Play games together, volunteer or spend time outdoors. Great memories don’t have to be made only at the dinner table.


All content and information are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for the advice, diagnosis, and/or treatment by a qualified medical practitioner.

Before starting any diet or exercise regimen, check with your physician to see what’s best for you.

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