Staying Healthy During the Holidays

There’s eggnog and pumpkin pie and turkey and ham and cookies oh my…Maintaining nutritious eating and a healthy lifestyle during the holidays can be quite a challenge for anyone. There are many parties and other social gatherings for work, family and friends. No one wants to miss these special occasions, so it is important to know ahead of time how to best handle all the temptations of eating, drinking and staying up later than we are accustomed to. Here are some ways to help you stay on course during this year’s holiday season.

  • Get enough rest. Take a nap for even a half an hour before you go out, if you can. Getting enough sleep will help you to eat less and exercise more.
  • Maintain your workout regime. If you can’t make it to the gym, plan a walk, run or some cardio at home. Try to schedule your workouts in the morning, to avoid casually dismissing them when the late-afternoon rush is upon you. Plus, you won’t feel as guilty when you indulge on a sweet or two.
  • Think about what you will do before you arrive. Plan your eating behaviour. Limit the amount of drinks and sweets you’ll have. Eat some healthy snacks before you go so you aren’t hungry when you arrive.
  • Drink lots of water. Have a couple of glasses before you go and alternate higher calorie drinks like alcoholic beverages, eggnog or hot chocolate with water while you are at the holiday party. Drinks can have a lot of hidden calories in them.
  • Be aware of what you are putting on your plate if you are served buffet style. Take a small amount of everything you like so you will not feel deprived. Try to forego the bread baskets so you don’t fill up on too much carbohydrates. Fill your plate with some “good” foods first. Load up the plate with lean meats, vegetables and fruit. Watch out you don’t overdo it on the dips.
  • Walk as often as you can. If you will be at someone’s home for an extended period of time, excuse yourself to go for a walk. Take a break from eating and get some fresh air.

To keep healthy eating habits over the holidays make sure you eat several small meals a day. This old tip holds especially true during the holiday season. We tend to skip meals and indulge in one large holiday dinner with the entire family. Don’t starve yourself all day. Get some snacks in and most importantly start your day with a good healthy breakfast. You will be able to enjoy your holiday more by stabilizing your blood sugar.

Remember the importance of this time of year, friends, family and loved ones. Put your attention on spending quality time with those you love and engaging in fun activities. The holiday season does not have to revolve around eating.

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Weight Loss After The Holidays

The first time you jump on the scale after the holidays, it might be a particularly traumatizing experience. Weight has a way of creeping up on you at this time of the year. You might even be one of those who is afraid to look at the number on the scale. Yes, I know, it’s time for a killer weight loss strategy!

As you may know from reading my blog, I’m NOT a quick weight loss advocate.  I believe in the slow and steady lifestyle approach.  However, I know those holiday pounds on your hips or in your belly don’t feel good.  So let’s talk about a few quick and easy strategies to get the weight loss effort moving in the right direction.


For a start, consider limiting or cutting out alcohol until you get back down to your desired weight. Alcohol is just empty calories (and a lot of them) and I’d rather have you concentrate on EATING calories instead DRINKING them. If you really can’t do without your beloved alcohol, consider pouring less of it and having it less often.

After the holidays, it’s common to feel incredibly bloated. Often times this is due to a higher refined carbohydrate intake and/or water retention.  The fix for this? Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, and cut back on refined and processed grain products (like bread, cookies, cakes, pies, etc). This will help you drop excess water weight, and you can replace the non-nutritious flour-based products with vegetables and fruits.

One of the reasons for weight gain over holidays is many of us over-indulge on rich treats and we eat larger portions. Now that the holiday is over, it’s time to push the rich treats to the back burner as occasional treats, and go back to normal portions.  Truth be told, I believe that most of us who are struggling with weight issues have probably fallen victim to PORTION issues :-).  If you’re looking for weight loss after the holidays—look to put smaller portions on your plate. Plain and simple!!

Aside from portion control, one of my best weight loss solutions for you is to write down your food intake each day.  Yep.  I know.  It’s tedious.  However, IT WORKS!  You’d be amazed at all the little things that go into your mouth that you forget about when you mentally recall your daily food intake.  When you WRITE DOWN your daily intake—it’s easier to keep track of what goes in your mouth!

Finally, in your effort to get on the weight loss wagon after the holidays, I’d suggest  you start making an appointment with yourself for regular exercise.  I like interval training to spur on faster weight loss, but if you’re  new to exercise, just getting out for a brisk walk, a hike, or some time on cardio machine at your health club is certainly a start.

Weight loss after the holidays doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, if you only gained a few pounds over the holidays, and you employ just one of the strategies I’ve told you and return to your  normal, non-holiday eating patterns, you should be back to normal weight within a couple of weeks.

Get out the the “indulgent” calories, be aware of what you’re eating and your portions, and schedule exercise.  That’s it.  There’s your post-holiday weight loss plan!

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