8 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

As November begins to wind down, we are officially in the holiday season. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and breaks for school and work calls for a lot of overeating. In my family, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the biggest holidays as far as cooking. If you add the bounty of food that magically appears on our tables with cold and wet weather, you can find yourself packing on the pounds and picking up bad habits. So how do you fight temptation and avoid putting “lose weight” back on your New Year’s resolution list?

  1. Learn to say no: Easier said than done, especially when you’re from a family who thrives on feasts during this time of year. When someone asks you if you would like another helping, reply with “no thank you”. Overindulging is going to hurt you a lot more than declining is going to hurt them. Yes, some family members see it as rude, but they’ll get over it. Do what’s right for your body.
  2. Enlist a family walk after dinner: If you’ve overate along with everyone else, you’re probably not the only one who feels like they’re about to pop. Ask your family members if anyone is interested in walking off some of that food after dinner. Give your food enough time to digest, and burn some of those new calories. It can become a new family tradition, like the Great Turkey Day Waddle.
  3. Bring the salad: Not enough healthy food at the gathering? Be the one responsible for bringing a healthy option. A salad is always welcome with any type of cuisine. You certainly won’t be the only one eating it. I’ve never been to an event where a salad has gone untouched. It doesn’t even have to be salad. Find a healthy alternative to a dish that’s regularly at your celebration.
  4. Ask for healthy gifts: If you’re concerned about your health or your weight, ask for diet or fitness related gifts for Christmas. If you’re adamant about eating better or being more active, put some lively items on your list like new workout gear, a gym membership, or a new juicer. When people are aware how health conscious you are, you’re sure to get some additional support, and some tools to keep that healthy lifestyle going.
  5. Opt for soft drinks: Alcohol consumption certainly rises during the holidays, and this is a sure way to gain a few pounds without noticing. Instead of indulging in the open bar at all the holiday parties, choose club soda or water instead of bottomless margaritas and shots that never end. If you still want to be festive, ask for the virgin version without alcohol. And remember, don’t drink and drive!
  6. Bring your gym with you: Many people travel for the holidays, and they complain that not having their gym is why they can’t work out. Bring your gym with you! You can pack things like resistance bands, yoga mats, and workout DVDs with you to keep your exercise routine consistent while you’re away from your gym.
  7. Wash your hands: Tis the time of the sniffles and the sneezes. Germs are running wild with so many people out shopping, leaving their coughs and sneezes uncovered. Utilize those antibacterial wipes. Keep some waterless antibacterial soap with you while you’re out, and don’t forget to frequently wash you hands. At the first hint of a cold or flu, take necessary precautions like medicine, lots of fluids, and plenty of rest.
  8. Enjoy yourself: Too many people mention how stressed this time of year makes them. Don’t let the little things get to you! If your family acts crazy during dinner, learn to expect it and not be disappointed when the arguments begin. Can’t find the much wanted gift for your child? A gift card will do, and they’ll get the gratification of picking up their present themselves. Relax, these are supposed to be happy times. The world won’t end of something doesn’t go right.
Cheating should be allowed on your diet and exercise routine, but don’t take this as a break for the rest of the year. Stay motivated, stay relaxed, and stay festive!
What do you plan on doing to stay healthy this holiday season?


8 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays — 33 Comments

  1. Saying no is the hardest thing for me to do. It is something that I have always struggled with. I find myself wanting to eat healthy many times, but I am often not supported by the members of my family around me.

  2. We really like to take a walk post meal. Get the blood pumping and start the calorie burn.

    One other thing I would add is to figure out your best method to handle stress and get ready to use it!

  3. The bringing your gym with you is a major issue for me. I hate when I get out of my routine. Thus, simply having familiar components of my home gym eliminates the disruption in my routine. I’ve been doing this a lot lately because my traveling has increased recently.

  4. Great tips Briana. I find it very difficult saying no in the holidays, there are so many delicious foods to sample, drinks to consume, and friends to laugh with. Everything in moderation!

  5. I’m starting a new exercise plan this month! Dangerous, I know, but I’m really excited for it. Plus, it’s on DVD so I can take it with me for the holidays. I’m also going to do my best to lay off the sweets.

    • Constantly washing your hands will keep you away from those germs spread by contact, so keep on washing! And saying no to chocolate is probably the hardest thing ever, but if you look at the nutrition facts on it, it’s easier to turn it down.

  6. Family walk after dinner is a great idea. We did it also but recently we sort of stopped. The reason is… it’s just too cold to even walk. During winter, this just isn’t an option unless you live in area where there is no winter.

  7. those are some great common sense tips. I’m a huge fan of the after dinner walk. In response to USMoney above, I will say that I live in Manitoba, Canada, and that the cold is actually a positive thing if your acclimatized. I always feel sleepy and groggy after I predictably overeat, and this always wakes me up!

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