Staying Healthy Through the Holidays

Six and a half weeks from now, the majority of us will be jumping, wiggling, and making all sorts of faces, just trying to squeeze into the pants we comfortably occupy right now.  The weeks of large meals, high-calorie appetizers, baked delights, and extra glasses of cheer will catch up with you by the time you’re ready to make those New Year resolutions.  It’s not going to be hard to think of one after enduring all the inevitable indulging this season brings.   There are some little ways though that you can keep that holiday weight at bay.

I suggest writing these down on a small note card, and keeping it in your purse or wallet, so that you see it frequently throughout your day.  Being prepared mentally is more than half the battle when it comes to enjoying all of the holiday foods and festivities.  Just seeing these words over and over will give you a little edge for successfully getting through these merry moments.

1. Reflect on whom you are eating for.

If you are eating to make someone feel good about what they made for the occasion, but aren’t especially hungry, do take a small portion.  However, don’t feel obligated to eat a large amount of something if you really are only doing it to please them.  You can always politely ask for some to take home if there are leftovers.  To really enjoy eating, eat when you are hungry, eat what you like (with discretion!), and don’t overindulge on it or you will end up regretting it.

2. Plan ahead on what you are eating.

If you approach that buffet of appetizers and desserts and just feel overwhelmed with a lack of self-control, you’re not alone.  This is by far one of the biggest hindrances to staying in shape during the holidays.  These snacks and sweets are often the worst options possible.  The best option is to stick to fruit and vegetables that are often offered instead (and rarely eaten).  If you are like me, saying no to all of the temptations is actually easier then limiting myself to just eating one.  It’s a set-up for failure for most people.

3. Drink lots of water.

Start by drinking a large glass of water when you wake up, and drink one before you go to bed as well.  You become dehydrated as you sleep, and this is a great start if you don’t already do this.  If you don’t currently carry a reusable water bottle with you all day, start now.  Try to avoid soda, juices, and flavored drinks (yes, that pumpkin spice latte will show up on your thighs!).  By drinking plenty of water all day, you will not be as hungry when you hit the party that evening, nor will that glass of bubbly hit you so hard.  Try to avoid mixed drinks and cocktails especially, as they too are loaded with extra sugars. 

 4. Be prepared.

If you are going to an event where you are going simply for the social aspect of it, then eat beforehand.  You are likely to eat a much healthier meal at home, and you will be able to talk without stuffing your mouth in between sentences.  Unconsciously eating in situations like these cause us to make poor choices and overindulge because we aren’t focusing on our body’s signals of how we feel; rather, our mind is engaged in conversation. 

5. Keep being active, or get started now!

Just because the air has turned bitter doesn’t mean you should feel bitter about exercise!  This is the perfect time to have an excuse to not exercise because we are all so busy, but it is the most important time to do so.  Even if you do gain a few (or more!) pounds these holidays, commit to getting yourself out for a walk, or go to the gym even if it is not as frequently.  You will certainly feel much more energized to get that shopping list checked off, and feel better about keeping those jeans in your rotation!

6. Be thankful!

Being a thankful person is one of the healthiest things you can do for your mind and body.  Be thankful for these weeks where we get to see faces we don’t always get to see.  Be thankful for the food, even if there is too much of it and you struggle to avoid it.  Be thankful that you have the opportunity to be healthy, even if you feel like you aren’t there yet.  All over the world people don’t even have the opportunity to be healthy.  Let those you care about know you are thankful for them, for the effort they took to prepare the food and festivities, and enjoy these moments.

About Heidi Morris

Rochester Hills mom of three. Loves life, loves family, loves to share new and interesting things with everyone. Contact her today at