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5 Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season to Avoid Weight Gain and Stress


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From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, the holiday season is month-long food marathon. Sure, we visit with family and friends, but what do we do there? EAT!

Here are some five subtle tricks and tips to avoid the temptation to overindulge this holiday season:

  1. Drink Plenty of Water - Make it at least a gallon a day. It sounds like a lot if you’re not used to drinking water, but the benefits of keeping yourself hydrated are something you can really be thankful for. For food-based holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, drinking water is key, because it makes you feel full. The fuller you feel, the less likely you are to have that second slice of pie. And, every time you drink a glass of water, you didn’t drink a glass of soda, or beer, or any other sugar and calorie-laden beverage. 
  1. Sleep - Sleep is the most important thing you can do for your health, so as the holiday festivities begin, make sure you’re getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep a night. Keep in mind, that most people need more. The holidays are stressful enough without denying your mind and body the time it needs to recover and rejuvenate. If you don’t sleep enough, your body may start craving extra calories from sugar to help keep you awake.
  1. Tweak the Menu - Consider minor tweaks to make family favorites healthier. From introducing low-carb substitutes, to simply making less of certain dishes, there are plenty of menu fixes to implement into holiday feasts. Wherever you can, try to eliminate as many processed carbs and sugar as you can; use less butter, and add more healthy vegetables to the menu. Instead of eating all the sugary and fatty foods, try having a large portion of salad and vegetables with extra turkey or ham. The protein will fill you up without making you have that sugar crash afterwards.

There are subtle changes you can make to your holiday meals to make them healthier without upsetting family traditions.

  1. Portion Control - It’s ingrained in us to go back for seconds. Instead, make the portions smaller and serve yourself on a salad place or only fill half of the dinner plate. Thirty minutes before the meal, snack on fresh veggies and dip to fill up and drink a full glass of water before going back for seconds.
  1. Incorporate Movement - Try incorporating activities other than food in your holiday get-togethers. After the meal, go for a walk, play with the kids, pull out the board games or puzzles, set up crafting stations, set up a scavenger hunt, or play a game of charades… start a non-food holiday tradition in 2021.

Remember, the holidays are about being with family and friends and not all about the food.