10 Terrific Tips: Stay Healthy this Holiday Season

The holidays can be a scary time for those of us trying to lose weight or even maintain it. Let these helpful tips educate and reassure you that you CAN DO THIS! -Sammi

Our good friend, Brenda Biberdorf, RD helped us to compile this list.  The holiday season can be full of fatty foods, stress, and inactivity.  Here are 10 things you can do to stay healthy during the holidays! -Sammi & Sarah

1. Start your day off right with a healthy, satisfying breakfast. 

Don’t skimp on this important meal in order to “save room” for the big holiday spread.  Although it may be counter-intuitive, you will be able to make smarter choices at holiday events if you eat a complete and balanced breakfast.

2. Be sure not to enter the “danger zone” of a holiday party with an empty stomach! 

Eat a small, low glycemic snack about an hour before your meal or party.  This way, you can use your brain to make decisions and not just your growling stomach.

3. If you are attending a pot-luck event, bring a healthy entree or appetizer that really hits the spot for you.

For example, if your weak spot is the dessert and you just can’t get enough of the pumpkin pie, try this amazing low glycemic pumpkin pie recipe.  It will give you the satisfaction of your favorite holiday flavors without spiking your blood sugar (but don’t forget about portion control, we don’t recommend eating the whole pie!).

4. Splurge wisely! Remember, healthy is a lifestyle. 

You’ve still got to live your life, but we want you to learn how to have a healthy balance between the foods you LOVE and the consequences of overeating.  In order to make wise decisions, you must have a game plan before you ever cross the threshold of that holiday party.  What is your favorite dish?  Is it the dark meat turkey with a healthy dose of gravy, or that yummy sweet potato casserole, or the delicious homemade crescent rolls you only get this time of year?  Some families enjoy a hearty breakfast together including homemade caramel rolls, or is your weak spot the dessert table including all those yummy holiday cookies?  Whatever your weak spot is, decide beforehand where you are going to splurge and how much you are going to allow yourself to splurge.  Make healthy choices everywhere else, and allow you a small portion of your favorites!  Load your plate with healthy options first – meat, raw fruits and veggies – then add SMALL portions of the things you want to taste.

5. Team up!  Confide in a family member or spouse, and let them know what your plan is. 

This way you have accountability and you will think twice before taking an extra slice when you think no one is watching.

6. Be careful to avoid grazing.  It is amazing how much you can consume when you are surrounded by food all day. 

Make sure to portion out what you are going to eat on a snack plate before you allow yourself to eat.  This way you are turning an unconscious behavior into something you can monitor throughout the day.  Graze from your snack plate! Also, leave the table when you are finished eating.  Many families sit around the table and visit which leads to more snacking.

7. Don’t forget to schedule time for exercise during the holidays, and don’t wait until after you have filled your belly with turkey (that is nap-time!). 

Finding a way to be active and get your heart-rate up isn’t as difficult as you may think.  Get outside and run around with the kids for 10 minutes, take a walk with your sister-in-law and catch up, or get on that treadmill first thing in the morning before everyone else is up.  You may not have time to make it to the gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be active.

8. Manage your stress and find time to rest.  Tired, stressed-out people often make poor food choices. 

Try to schedule some margin time over the holidays, so you don’t find yourself getting stuck in autopilot and reverting to the same old bad-habits from holidays past.

9. Don’t forget to pack (and actually consume) your nutritional supplements. 

I know…..will missing a few days worth of vitamins really have any negative consequences?  The short answer is YES, the long answer is YES IT WILL!  You may not be able to control much during the holiday season, but you can control whether or not you take your vitamins.  Not only will it help keep your immune system strong, it will also strengthen your resolve to make healthy choices in other areas.

10. Nobody is perfect, including you!  One slip up is not going to derail your healthy lifestyle unless you let it get to you. 

If you have a bad day, just do your best to eat healthy and get some activity in the next day.  You may not be able to survive this holiday season without a few slip ups, but if you are diligent, you can get through this hectic season feeling empowered to continue pursuing your health and weight loss goals.

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About Sarah Koontz

Sarah Koontz is a freelance writer and regular contributor at Grounded & Surrounded. If you are interested in growing your faith, nourishing your family life, and discovering the beauty of God's design, be sure to follow her personal blog at SarahKoontz.com. When Sarah is not writing, you are likely to find her covered in dirt, sitting in the middle of her garden, adoring her beautiful flock of backyard chickens. She is eternally grateful for her husband and two little girls, and revels in their simple, uncluttered life. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

10 thoughts on “10 Terrific Tips: Stay Healthy this Holiday Season

    1. Thanks Sara! Aren’t these tips great? Brenda is fantastic and is always inspiring us with helpful and applicable ideas to help us stay healthy. Merry Christmas to you!

    1. We are so glad you found these tips helpful Natalie! Holidays are a busy time but I think with a little bit of forethought we can stick to our health goals. Take care!

  1. These tips are very helpful. I have some new health concerns, so I am really trying to make healthy changes, I especially like tip #5. The accountability factor, would help me take my habits more seriously.

    1. Mary: My own underlying health problems have “forced” me to make many changes in my life. They all have been challenging, but making healthy choices is so worth the effort! Good Luck on your own health journey. Hope you keep tabs on our blog, lots of our future content will be about this subject! -Sarah

  2. Great tips! #6 is always a challenge for me at holiday get-togethers and #9, I always remember to bring the kids’ vitamins but usually forget my own! 🙂

    1. You and me both, Rana! Grazing….it’s so easy to do! Want me to send you a reminder text so you can remember your own vitamins this Christmas?? hehe 🙂 See you next week! PS…I can’t wait for the craft!!!

  3. this is my favorite of the holiday post. I really want to stay healthy this season. thanks for the tips!

    1. Hi Sarah! We are so glad you enjoyed this article. It’s so great to hear that you are wanting to stay healthy too this holiday season. We know you can do it! Take care 🙂

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