7 Realistic, Can-Do Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season

The holiday season can be tough when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We are bombarded with indulgent treats and busy schedules, making it easy to abandon our usual routines. However, there are realistic and practical ways to enjoy the holiday season without completely sacrificing our health. From not skipping regular meals to practicing mindful eating, incorporating these seven tips into our holiday routine can help us navigate the festivities with as much healthfulness as possible, while still indulging in the joy of the season.

Don’t skip your usual meals.

Eating regularly throughout the day is important for maintaining a healthy metabolism and ensuring that your body gets the necessary fuel it needs. It can also help keep your appetite in check so that you don’t overindulge at holiday meals or parties. Whether you’re on a specific meal plan or not, be sure to enjoy your usual breakfast and lunch before heading out for a big holiday dinner. By sticking to your regular eating routine, you’ll be better equipped to make mindful choices during holiday gatherings.

Schedule (and prioritize!) your fitness.

The holiday season can be a busy time, but it’s important to make time for exercise. Treating your fitness routine as you would any other important meeting or gathering is key. Break down how to get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week and schedule it in. Regular exercise not only benefits your physical health but also your mental well-being. It can help combat the stress and extra calories that often come with the holiday season. Prioritizing fitness during this time will set you up for success in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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Indulge — but don’t overindulge.

Trying to completely avoid all holiday treats and goodies can often lead to feeling deprived and ultimately giving in to temptation. Instead of completely restricting yourself, allow yourself to indulge in moderation. Grab a smaller plate from the buffet line and fill it up with your favorite treats, rather than mindlessly sampling everything. By consciously choosing a few indulgences ahead of time, you can still enjoy the deliciousness without going overboard. Practice portion control and savor each bite, allowing yourself to truly enjoy the flavors of the season.

Practice mindful eating.

Mindful eating is all about being fully present and aware of the size, texture, color, smell, and taste of your food. By slowing down and paying attention to your eating experience, you can better tune in to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. This can help prevent overeating and promote a healthier relationship with food. Take the time to savor each bite, chew slowly, and engage all of your senses while eating. Mindful eating allows you to truly enjoy and appreciate the food you consume, leading to a more satisfying and nourishing experience.

Take laps around the room or stand instead of sit after eating.

After enjoying a delicious holiday meal, it can be tempting to find a cozy spot on the couch and relax. However, moving around after eating can aid in digestion and prevent excessive post-meal snacking. Instead of sitting, take a leisurely walk around the room or stand up and engage in conversation with others. Not only does this help with digestion, but it also increases blood flow and activates your metabolism. By incorporating gentle movement after meals, you can support your body’s natural processes and avoid unnecessary overeating.

Practice self-compassion.

No matter how carefully you plan and try to stick to your goals, there may be times when you overindulge or stray from your usual routine. It’s important to practice self-compassion and remind yourself that it’s okay to enjoy yourself during the holiday season. Beating yourself up or feeling guilty about slip-ups will only create a negative cycle of self-deprecation. Instead, take a deep breath, forgive yourself, and focus on making better choices moving forward. Remember that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a long-term journey, and occasional indulgences are part of that journey.

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Create a concrete plan for the season and beyond.

Setting specific goals and creating a plan can provide structure and guidance during the holiday season and beyond. Consider adopting a “SMART” goal approach, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Set realistic and attainable goals for your holiday parties and gatherings that allow you to enjoy yourself without going overboard. For example, you could aim to have a balanced plate with plenty of veggies and lean protein at each holiday meal. Additionally, use the holiday season as an opportunity to reflect on your overall health goals and create a plan for the new year. By setting intentions and developing a roadmap for the future, you can approach the holiday season with purpose and maintain a healthy lifestyle beyond the festivities.

Conclusion

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the holiday season is entirely possible with a few realistic and manageable strategies. By not skipping your usual meals, scheduling and prioritizing fitness, indulging in moderation, practicing mindful eating, incorporating movement after meals, practicing self-compassion, and creating a concrete plan, you can enjoy the holiday season with healthfulness and happiness. Remember that the holiday season is meant to be enjoyed with loved ones, and these tips will help you do just that, without feeling restricted or deprived.

Author

Caitlin H is the Diet-to-Go Community Manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. Caitlin believes in the power of moderation and that the most successful weight loss comes from common-sense healthy eating and fitness habits. Her tips and insights help individuals achieve their health goals while embracing balance and self-compassion.

Image Credits

Image: Tips for a healthier holiday – Diet-to-Go

Author: Caitlin H – Diet-to-Go Community Manager

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