Plan for Healthier Holidays

by , -

Create a healthy holiday plan

'Tis the seasons for traditions, fun music, festive parties and delicious food! Amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to lose sight of your healthy habits and goals. While strategies like taking a smaller plate, eating slowly and staying hydrated can help control what you eat, it's important to establish realistic, well-planned goals to keep you focused and motivated. 

Create a Healthy Holiday Plan

To create a healthy holiday plan, think about your biggest challenges and what you realistically expect out of yourself. Then write it down. Having your goals clearly written down will help you stay focused throughout all of your holiday get-togethers. You will be better prepared when faced with temptations and help you avoid those spur-of-the-moment choices that you’ll later regret.   

Everyone faces different challenges during the holidays, so devise a plan that addresses your unique circumstances. Be as specific as possible.  Here are a few examples from my Healthy Holiday Plan:

  • Weight Management: I expect to maintain my weight between Thanksgiving Day and New Years Day. 

  • Food Choices: I will have one plate of food and one piece of my aunt’s famous pecan pie.

  • Leftovers: I will buy containers to give my leftovers to my guests to take home.  

  • Define the Holiday: I will not have any ‘holiday food’ until December 23, and will return to my regular non-holiday foods and meals starting December 28. I will have those foods ready and waiting at home.

  • Exercise: I will not check my email during my vacation until I have done 20-30 minutes of activity.

  • Stress: I will listen to my favorite holiday music while I wrap gifts, and do five minutes of yoga/stretching before bed.

  • Traditions:  Many families have traditions that involve marathon baking sessions with friends and family. Challenge the status quo and get creative! Rather than baking a pies, cookies and other desserts, make ornaments, wreaths or other holiday decorations, or have a gift wrapping party. You can also make blankets, scarves and hats to donate to charity. Replace “cookie guilt” with the spirit of the season!