Healthy Holiday Guide: Enjoy the Holidays with Balance

healthy holiday guide_stay healthy

It’s the holiday season again, and we know what that means: busy schedules, parties, and lots of food! But after comes the guilt! And then the broken New Year’s Resolution shortly after. Here’s my healthy holiday guide to help you prevent weight gain and guilt, and get you started in making healthy habits that last PAST the New Year!

Portion Sizes:

Portion sizes are the key to my healthy holiday guide. It’s not realistic to expect that you’re not going to eat Thanksgiving foods, or Christmas dinner, just because you’re trying to be healthier. In fact, in preparing this healthy holiday guide, I KNOW that you are going to enjoy these foods (I am too!). But, I want you to enjoy while keeping portion sizes. Portion sizes are going to help you not to overeat. You won’t have to skip out on Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, but you won’t eat your body weight in food either!

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Get Moving:

Tip 2 from my healthy holiday guide is to get moving in small doses, multiple times per week. At least 3 times per week get moving. Go for a walk or a jog, walk around the mall (and get some shopping done, perhaps?), go hiking, or get a workout in. When you get moving you burn calories. And moving in small amounts, releases good hormones for your body that give you energy and help you to feel good. Even if you’re not working out every single day, being active at least a couple of times per week is going to help you burn off some of those extra calories, and help you feel a little less weighted down. And, you won’t feel guilty because you HAVE been active and won’t have to start up a new habit in the New Year once again.

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Enjoying celebration is important, but my healthy holiday guide is to get enough sleep! I know that sleep can easily be missed with all the excitement of family celebrations, parties, and the shopping madness. But sleep is vital for your bodies health. Without it, you are quicker to eat unhealthy, grab extra salt, and pack on the pounds. Be healthy this holiday season and get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Be rested enough to choose healthier foods (I’m talking about those fruits and veggies), eat normal portion sizes, and be able to enjoy in moderation. Also, no one likes a Christmas Grinch, so get some shut eye for your peace of mind!

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Healthy Swaps:

When it’s possible, make healthy swaps during the holidays. I know all of the holiday flavors are out (Caramel Brulee latte? Yes please!) and it’s hard to resist sometimes. So, go ahead and enjoy. But make the healthier choice about half of the time. Already had a latte this morning? Stick with a honey/stevia coffee with light cream instead. Or, choose the salad with cranberries, walnuts, and glazed chicken over snacking on those pumpkin muffins in the break room. It’s important to include healthy swaps in the healthy holiday guide for 2 reasons. The first, is so you know that you CAN make good choices during the holidays. The second reason is to encourage you to make healthy choices so you don’t feel guilty after the New Year.

healthy holiday guide_healthy swaps
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Stop When You’re Full:

The last, and possibly most important, tip for my healthy holiday guide is to stop when you’re full. So many people over eat during the holidays. Rather than enjoying everything in moderation, overeating can be very harmful to your health. Overeating causes weight gain and guilt. If you stop eating when you’re full, you won’t gain excess weight but you can still enjoy the foods you love. This goes right back to portion sizes. Set your portion sizes and serve is smaller portions! When you eat, you’re less likely to overindulge. But, it’s important to listen to your body. If you start feeling full. It is time to stop! Don’t give yourself any reason to feel guilty after the holidays. To help you stick to this, try eating slower and drinking water with your meal. These will help you slow down and really start listening to when your body is feeling full.

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My healthy holiday guide are general tips that can help you maintain (or start) healthy habits during the upcoming holiday season. It’s okay to enjoy holiday meals and treats! But, do so in moderation. You want to stay healthy during the holidays without feeling guilty!

I would love to hear your thoughts about my healthy holiday guide in the comments! Did this help you identify areas you can stay healthy during the holiday season? Which healthy holiday guide tips will you incorporate for a balanced celebration this year?

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