Healthy Holiday Tips

It's that time of year again. The holiday festivities are underway, and with them come plenty of cookies, chocolates, cakes…you nam...

It's that time of year again. The holiday festivities are underway, and with them come plenty of cookies, chocolates, cakes…you name it. It can be difficult to stay on track health-wise during the holidays, as we're met with endless temptation (personally I've enjoyed almost an entire tin of Quality Street to myself) that we justify by an "it's Christmas!" mentality.  While it is important to enjoy the holiday season and all the delicious food that comes along with it, there are ways to avoid that post-Christmas slump where you realize you've gained 10 pounds and thus frantically purchase 4 gym memberships and go on a juice cleanse to try to counteract what you've done.  I was thinking about this (after finishing my second box of holiday biscuits) and I decided to compile some tips to avoid the guilt come January. 

1. Practice Patience

The weeks leading up to the holidays can be tempting (as evidenced by the empty chocolate wrappers in my trash). As we are putting up Christmas trees or decorating the house, we might feel compelled to indulge in some holiday baking.  While it’s perfectly ok to satisfy your sweet tooth from time to time, engaging in holiday snacking too early on can easily lead to a month-long binge.  If you know that over the holidays you’ll be tempted by sweets and treats at parties and dinners, avoid adding to this by cracking open that box of holiday goodies in the first week of December. 

2. Avoid Avoidance 

Picture this: you’re at your work Christmas party, carefully steering clear of that table filled with home-baked cookies and cakes and you’ve made it through the night…only to head home and binge-eat the next 4 days of advent chocolates.  As is with most things in life, moderation is key. Enjoying a tasty treat at a holiday party won’t ruin you, and if you’re anything like me, avoiding delicious food all day often leads to a night of eating Nutella straight from the jar. Don’t be afraid to enjoy a little bit.

3. Get Outside

While it can be hard to make it to the gym during the holidays, there are still plenty of ways to stay active.  When spending time with family or friends, suggest  an activity that doesn’t limit movement to getting up for another glass of wine (I REALLY wish that counted). Depending on the climate, a winter walk, or even offering to shovel snow, can get you up and moving over the break.

4. Rest and Relaxation

This one sounds easy, but it is increasingly difficult to find time to ourselves over the holiday season. It can be hard to make healthy choices when you’re frantically wrapping presents and hosting parties like a madwoman (or madman). However, it can be beneficial to take some time out of your day to relax and let go of the holiday stress.  Even five peaceful minutes can make a huge difference in your mindset, and this can aid in making positive choices later on.  Even better, if you can manage to get away for a run or sneak off to a yoga class, you'll not only calm your busy mind, but also get in some exercise.

5. Limit Hot Chocolate Intake

This one is really hard for me. With the rise of Starbucks and other coffee houses offering decadent desserts in drink form, so does rise the number on the scale come the new year. Many of these enticing holiday drinks offer as many calories as a hefty piece of cake, and yet somehow we (I?) feel like they "don't count".  Avoiding the daily hot chocolates and mochas over the holidays can really help cut back, and allow you to enjoy those delicious homemade cookies later on.

Now I just have to take my own advice...

You Might Also Like