Realistic Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holiday Season

Christmas Spirit
Image Altered from Original Picture Courtesy of Ron Leishman

There is a TON of advice about staying fit, eating healthy, and not gaining 26 pounds during the holiday season. I am a pretty realistic person, I know that I am going to eat mashed potatoes, pie, Christmas cookies, and drink lots of wine and champagne…because, let’s face it, it wouldn’t be AS much fun if I didn’t. However! I don’t want to eat everything in site and feel like crap the whole holiday season either. Moderation is key…with everything except wine…in my house at least! Of course, everyone is different, I am not an expert, and there are tons of ways to keep your body in shape during this sugary season, but these are my favorite tips…and they don’t include stuffing broccoli in the pockets of your dress so you have a healthy snack at the party.

1. Eat what you want! …but only what you really want. Don’t chow down on the peppermint candies and cookies if you don’t even like mint. Eat things you will really enjoy, don’t just eat to eat.

2. Fill up on dinner or healthy snacks first. If you want to eat a little something before you even head out to the party that could be a good tactic, to avoid bad food choices. You won’t be as hungry, and therefore as likely to eat lots of unhealthy snacks. If you are already at the party, seek out the healthy options before you give in to the sugary sweets. Fill up on veggies, whole wheat crackers, and fruits first… then you will eat less cookies and cake later.

3. Drink lots of water! Alcohol will dehydrate you, and you probably won’t feel thirsty…(How can I be thirsty when I have been drinking ALL night!?!) Make sure you alternate sipping the bubbly with some good old fashioned H20. You’re belly and your head will thank you!

4. Bring your favorite healthy snack. If you know there will be limited healthy options at the party offer to bring your own. My go to favorites are Garlic Hummus, Dried Fruits, or Sweet Potato Crisps. It’s also great to “healthify” a favorite holiday recipe, like these Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies. I will be posting more this season! If you are hosting the holiday party try to make your own appetizers instead of using packaged or frozen appetizers. Cooking at Home

5. Fit in workouts. Even though the “holiday season” extends from mid-November through the New Year, there are really only a couple of actual holiday days…if that makes sense. I’m not saying you have to wake up at 4am on Christmas day so you can climb into your hot pants and jump on the treadmill before you see what Santa brought. But there are plenty of other days that you can fit a workout in! You can even cheat a little bit, a small workout is better than nothing, offer to take the kids out to play in the snow, park FAR away from the mall, or add a sit up routine to your mornings.Snow Lady6. Give your body what it needs to keep you feeling great! I know it is a busy busy time, but try to get enough sleep and keep washing your hands, there are so many germs flying around this time of year. Work out, and fuel your body with healthy foods.

7. Give yourself a break! It is not the end of the world if you eat a whole family of gingerbread cookies, skip a couple workouts, or down a couple of beers… once in a while. Stressing  out about it will make you feel 80 times worse AND stress weakens the immune system!

Clem ChritmasMost of all, enjoy this time of year! Cherish time spent with family and friends. Be kind. Give back when you can. Be thankful.