Holiday Eating Strategies for a Healthier, Stress-free Season

holiday eating strategies

It’s that time of year again…as the Thanksgiving holiday comes upon us, we enter many weeks of holiday celebrations, pitch-ins, baking, and crazy schedules. Many people report significant weight gain over the holiday season. Don’t let this season affect the healthy habits you’ve tried to maintain all year. Start today and come up with a plan that can help you have a healthy and less-stressful holiday season. Consider the tips below to start.

Plan Early

  • Planning ahead can keep you on track. Without a plan, grazing, snacking and all those little “extras” during the season can add up. Each day or week, plan breakfast, lunch and dinner in advance. Eat regularly to stay full and energized and have less room for extra junk foods.
  • Schedule your exercise in advance. The holiday season gets busy, so schedule fitness in several times during the week. This can sometimes feel impossible, but there are easy ways you can do this. Sneak in some fitness early in the morning before a day of baking, or take an extra lap around the mall while holiday shopping.

Focus on the Celebration, Not the Food

  • When you think about it, the holiday season is really about the social interaction such as shopping, spending time with family and caroling. Focus on enjoying the social aspects of holiday celebrations and less about the food.
  • Use a few tricks such as bringing a healthy dish to the pitch-in that you know you can eat, skipping the alcohol, or eating before you go.

Find New Traditions

  • Many old traditions revolve around food. This season, change it up. Take part in a Thanksgiving 5K, make holiday body scrubs instead of cookies, or have a present wrapping party. You’ll be surprised at how many people will love the idea.

Focus on Weight Maintenance, Not Weight-loss

  • The holiday season can be a difficult time to lose weight. Instead of losing, focus on maintenance.
  • Keep close tabs on your weight. Step on the scale regularly or use a pair of pants as a guide.

Moderation Works, But Keep Your House Safe

  • During the holiday season, give yourself a break. You don’t have to be perfect, and a treat here and there is perfectly fine and expected. Plan ahead and allow for small treats and splurges throughout the season.
  • Having plenty of cookies, old Halloween candy and leftover stuffing can be dangerous. If you enjoy a treat, have it at the party, but try not to bring it home to linger on in the kitchen through the week. There is a difference between a treat at a party and a plate you eat from for several days.

Celebrate the Way You Want to

  • In all the fun, the holidays can increase feelings of stress and pressure. Many times, a natural response to stress and pressure is to eat.
  • This season, focus more on you. Attend the parties you want to. Don’t feel like every present and gift must be perfect. Relax and enjoy the season however you would like.

Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season!

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