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7 Strategies to Enjoy the Holidays & Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Health & Wellness

7 Strategies to Enjoy the Holidays & Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

January 16, 2016

When the holidays come around it’s so common to see an attitude of restriction and self-punishment for indulging, followed by more self-hate. My solution is to encourage everyone to try their best to adapt a positive attitude and find balance over the holiday season.

So, how do we go about finding balance?

1. Accept the inevitable.

Unless you are planning on staying home, you are likely going to be bombarded by treats, sweets, chocolates, snacks, chips, nut mixes and all things yummy. It’s going to happen; there’s really no way of escaping it. So, set up a game plan on how to deal with these temptations.

2. Have a safe zone.

While it may seem like you have 1,000 holiday parties to attend, you still have your home-base, safety-zone, a place where you can plan what you eat, and stay in control of what you get to eat and enjoy! So, try your best to make your home your healthy haven. (If you are hosting a party, wait until the day of to buy treats, and send them off with guests as they leave!) Don’t tempt yourself even more while just sitting at home by having the holiday cookies on the counter or the candy dish on the coffee table.

3. Keep your routine.

Don’t “save room” to binge at a party or gathering. This not only throws off your balance but is totally counterproductive. You are basically signaling to your body to store every little calorie from that binge you have at the party, rather than burning it off. You’re likely to eat even more than you would if you just ate normally throughout the day before the party. Eat your breakfast, snacks and lunch, and by the time you get to your party, you won’t indulge like you would if you went there ravenous.

4. Stay hydrated (with H20!).

Alcohol intake goes up around the holidays. Christmas cheer, right? If you aren’t a drinker, I bet you indulge in eggnog, punch and other high-calorie nonalcoholic picks, too. It’s a whole lot of empty calories and an invitation for some major water retention. So, balance it out with lots of water. For every alcoholic (or specialty) drink you consume, drink two big glasses of water. You’ll stay nice and hydrated, ward off water retention and consume fewer empty calories.

5. Keep moving.

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean it’s time to take a break from exercise. You are likely going to be consuming some extra calories with the special meals and treats around, so it’s even more important to keep on a good exercise routine. When you exercise, don’t think of it as punishment because you indulged, but rather think of it as treating your body with love, because you LOVE your body and all it is capable of!

6. Indulge!

Yes, that’s right… indulge! Christmas and New Year’s only come around once a year, and you are allowed to have a treat. But stay accountable! If you want some dessert or chocolate, have a small amount and savor it. If you want mashed potatoes smothered in gravy… do it. Just have a small portion. If you go into it with a “NO, NO, NO, I can’t” attitude, unless you’re rock-solid-crazy-willpower-superwoman-or-man, you’ll cave. And then you’ll just end up feeling bad.

7. Don’t fret a couple of pounds.

It’s common to gain a few over the holidays. If you don’t go totally overboard, you’ve likely put on a few pounds of water weight, and it will be off within a week or two. Don’t think you’ve put on a few pounds of pure fat over just a few days. The body doesn’t really work like that; it’s water retention. So stay on track with your exercise, get back to your regular healthy eating routine and your body will shake off those few excess pounds in no time.

Discover Your Best Self

Health and wellness coaching is an inspiring and effective way to empower you to reach your health and wellness goals. Coaching will help you focus on taking action to move toward your ideal wellness through assessment, conversation, personal discovery and goal setting. Coaching is ideal if you have a strong willingness to improve your health and well-being and you are ready to work toward behavior change.


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