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10 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

We are quickly moving from into holiday season! With all the excitement of the holidays comes all of the treats, feasts, drinks and parties associated with them!

While it’s common for weight gain to happen around the holidays, it doesn’t have to be the norm. We’ve put together 10 tips to help you get through a healthy holiday season – and still have a great time!

Healthy Holiday Season

1. Don’t go hungry

Don’t deprive yourself during the day in anticipation of a party or festive dinner! Hunger can wreak havoc on even the best healthy eating intentions, usually leading to overeating later on and . Stick to regular meals and have a small nutritious snack prior to departing for your holiday party.

2. Eat well most of the time

Keep healthy eating your focus every day and at events. Consider the 80-20 rule: 80% of what you eat is healthful, 20% of what you eat is a “treat food”. Along with that, be picky about your treats – indulge in foods you know you’ll enjoy and that are exclusive to this time of year! Remember that it’s ok to say “no” to foods you know you won’t really appreciate.

3. Bring your own dish 

Going to a party or hosting one? Make up a healthy dish to serve (or offer to bring) so you know there’s a healthy option out there with all that other food. Try our Golden Beet Feta Salad or Double Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

4. Pick your Portions

 Often you don’t need a lot of a food to enjoy it. Grab a smaller plate to load up at the buffet and choose smaller servings of desserts and dishes you’re dying to try – you’ll get a taste without all the calories of a full serving! Choose more of lighter dishes like fresh veggies or salads – think of filling your plate mostly with veggies, and the rest with sides.

5. Keep Healthy Snacks at the Office

We hear all the time that a major downfall during holiday seasons are office snacks and treats! Avoid temptation by keeping your own healthy snacks at your desk to reach for when you feel hungry, and remember the 80-20 rule! If it’s something you’re dying for, treat yourself as your office snack instead.

6. Alternate alcohol with water

Holiday drinks are pretty much a given at any function. While it’s not practical to give alcohol up altogether (at least not at every party!), try alternating each drink with a glass of water to keep you hydrated, keep you sipping something, and cut down the number of drinks you actually have.

7. Change the focus 

Holiday events often seem to center around food. Try gathering away from the food table to avoid mindless snacking all night long. Additionally, focus on all the other great things about the other people: Family, friends, decorations, gift-giving, and so much more!

8. De-Stress

We all know that stress at any time can lead to extra snacks and mindless munching. Find outlets or strategies to help steer clear of stress during the holiday season, and practice mindful eating if you are feeling hungry: Is it really hunger, or are you coping with some extra stress?

9. Keep it moving

 Keeping a regular exercise routine can help burn some calories, and will provide an outlet to help de-stress. Even if you can’t get in a full workout, consider a half workout or less time consuming activity. If you really can’t get to the gym one day, think positively about what you’re doing instead (i.e., walking around a mall for possibly hours can be thought of as low-impact activity). Consider a post-dinner activity like tobogganing or going for a walk.

10. Let go a little

At the end of the day, holidays are a time for enjoyment! While it’s great to keep all these strategies in mind for a healthier season, beating yourself up if you miss a step or have one cookie too many. It probably tasted delicious, and tomorrow is another day!

What are your tricks for staying healthy during the holidays? Let us know!

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We’re a team of devoted dietitians who embrace the science behind healthy eating, and the crucial role your own body chemistry plays. When you need to know what eating well means to you, we’ll provide the what, why and how.

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