Happy, Healthy Holidays!

20 12 2012
Cathy Shaw

Cathy Shaw

Are you having difficulty navigating your way through the hustle and bustle of the holiday season? Our holiday schedules quickly fill up with special events and family traditions. The season is surrounded by love, joy and all of the temptations to overindulge on our favorite holiday treats! We often get so overwhelmed with holiday “cheer” that we put off the healthy eating and exercise habits that we have worked so hard to achieve. Just because food is often the centerpiece of holiday gatherings, does not mean you have to pack on the holiday pounds! Here are some tips for keeping your holidays healthy….

1. Continue to track your food: It is the most effective way to manage your intake. Hidden calories are easy to ignore- a spoonful of cookie batter, a few candied pecans, a couple of tablespoons of flavored coffee creamer. These all add up and can sabotage your weight loss efforts.

2. Plan ahead for parties and gatherings so you can enjoy your special favorites and still stay on track…..
Take the edge off hunger before a party. Eat small low cal meals during the day and enjoy a small snack before you head out to curb your hunger.

Make only one trip to the “food table”. Choose only the foods that you really want and keep your portions small- tablespoon size- and use the smallest plate available.

Socialize! There are zero calories in conversation. You may eat less if you start out enjoying the festivities instead of heading straight to the food. Spend time catching up with old friends or make new ones. Chances are if you are talking, you aren’t eating!

Fill up on low cal party foods. Go easy on fried appetizers and cocktails. They pack in the calories faster than you can say “Merry Christmas”. Start with fresh fruits and veggies or try broiled shrimp with lemon. If you know there will be little healthful foods to choose from, bring a healthy dish for everyone to try.

3. Make fitness a priority. Schedule your workouts like an appointment and put them on your calendar just like your social events. Aim to exercise more often to help prevent weight gain from extra eating. Add an extra 10 minutes of vigorous cardio exercise to your day to help counterbalance those extra calories.

4. Re-gift or share treats and food. People love to share their homemade family recipes- cookies, candies and special dishes are given out of love. But this does not mean you have to eat all of them! Share with co-workers, take them to parties or take them to a local food pantry or shelter to help spread some holiday spirit to others.

5. Drink your water! People who drink more water and eat water rich foods (such as oranges and grapefruit) tend to eat less calories overall.

6. Keep your eye on the prize! Remember your goals and keep them realistic. You may need to scale down your weight loss goals or even focus on weight maintenance instead. It takes hard work to get through the holidays…remember YOU are in control!

Above all, have fun! Enjoy your holiday traditions with family and friends, but maintain a healthy balance too! For some great holiday recipes visit:





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