7 Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holidays
Updated: Jul 3, 2019
The holidays are just around the corner which means extra sweet-treat temptations and lots of upcoming Christmas parties. Are you worried about sabotaging your wellness goals in the next month and a half? Don’t worry! I have 7 Tips to help you survive the holidays this season and stay on track with your healthy living goals.
1. Schedule your Workouts
Go grab your calendar (Phone or Notebook) because we are scheduling your workouts in RIGHT NOW! If you have signed up for any group fitness classes, mark these dates/times in your calendar and treat it like a Dr. Appointment.
Don’t have any group classes booked? No problem! Take a look at your local recreation or fitness centre and see if they offer any drop-in classes that match your schedule. Book those dates/times into your calendar.
If you don’t have a gym membership, do not worry! You can also workout at home. Mark down whatever time of the day works best for you (early morning, lunch hour, right after work) for at least 20-minutes. Check out our Fit By Britt YouTube Channel for a ton of FREE easy-to-follow workout videos.
Remember that this is a busy time of the year, so be realistic about your availability. If you know you can only workout 2 - 3 times per week, that is perfect! You don’t want to overwhelm yourself during an already stressful time of year. I suggest starting out with 2 - 3 workout dates per week and then always adding more if you have the time.
Lastly, try to think of these workouts as a commitment to you! Your time, goals, and priorities are important. YOU are important. Most of us wouldn’t cancel a Doctors appointment last-minute or not show-up to a scheduled work meeting, so don’t bail on yourself. Once you have these dates/times written down, try your best stay committed to them. Set reminders in your phone and decline invitations from others if they conflict with your scheduled times. This will help you stay committed towards your goals this season.
2. Make Healthy Goodies
Does your lunch room get filled with chocolates, cookies, brownies, candies and cakes during the holiday season? To avoid these tasty temptations, one thing that I like to do is make my own version of these holiday treats, but with a healthy twist, and pack that in my lunch.
Love brownies? Try making Black Bean Brownies instead! Are you a big candy person? Pack extra fruit in your lunch (mandarin oranges, strawberries, apples). Is your lunch room filled with cakes and desserts? Try making these healthy carrot cake muffins instead.
Yes, I know eating an orange is not the same as eating a bowl of candy, but it can certainly help satisfy that sweet tooth. Try enjoying one of your healthy goodies first before grabbing a handful of holiday treats from the lunch room. And in all honesty, if you need to just avoid the lunch room for a little while when it is filled with sweets, totally do that! Personally, the “out of sight, out of mind” method works best for me!
3. Don't Go to Dinner Hungry
Alright, now let’s chat about all the dinners, lunches, and parties you might be attending this holiday season. This year, I have 7 Christmas dinners/parties to go to. That includes work parties, friend parties, and family dinners during the holidays. For you, this number might be higher or lower.
Let’s be honest, 7 is ALOT. Especially if those events are filled with heavy, creamy, buttery, and sugary foods. All the things that are delicious for our tastebuds, but not quite for our bodies. But, how can we avoid overeating at all of these parties? Don’t Go To Dinner HUNGRY!
I have done this in the past, and it never ends well. When I am hungry, I instantly go for all the unhealthy, fatty foods, load up my plate a mountain high, and shovel it into my mouth as quickly as possible. I don’t even think my body has time to register that it’s actually full by the time I am halfway through seconds. And then, I am in a food coma for the rest of the night. My pants are tights, I feel uncomfortable, and I start to feel guilty about my overindulgence.
In recent years, I have learned to ask what time we are expected to eat dinner. I then always make sure to eat a healthy meal before I make my way to these get-togethers and sometimes pack a healthy snack (ie. Protein Bar or apple) in my bag incase dinner is running late.
When I do this, I find that I make healthier food choices (those cooked veggies look way more appealing to me), and I slowly eat my food, enjoying the texture and flavour and giving my body time to feel full before I jump up for seconds. This is probably the tip that has helped me the most.
4. Skip the Bread
We all know that bread is yummy, but it is also honestly more of a filler food than anything. Especially if you are planning on having some dessert later, which is filled with flour and sugar already. If I were you, I would skip the bread at dinner and enjoy a piece of dessert instead.
4. Fill 1/2 of Your Plate with Veggies
If you are eating a buffet-style meal, start by filling at least half of your plate up with salad and veggies. This will help ensure that your body is getting some important nutrients while helping you to choose proper portion sizes for your meats and grains.
If you decide to go up for seconds, try to follow this simple tip again!
5. Bring Healthy Food
Last year, I went to two different holiday parties that had NO HEALTHY OPTIONS available. There wasn’t even a salad or veggie platter. I was shocked! This year, I am volunteering to bring the veggie tray, salad, or a healthier appetizer. That way, I know I have a healthy food options to reach for during dinner.
6. Limit your Alcohol
Did you know that a beer has about 150 calories per can, and that a 5 oz glass of wine has an average of 120 calories per glass (that is just over 1/2 a cup). The average highball (Vodka and Sprite) has an average of 150 calories per 6 oz (that is 3/4 of a cup).
Now I don’t typically count calories, but when it comes to alcohol, this adds up VERY FAST.
Alcoholic calories are referred to as empty calories because they don’t provide any nutritional benefits to your body. I am not saying that you have to skip ALL of the alcohol from every party you go to, but maybe pick-and-choose which party you would prefer to enjoy a glass or two of wine at. If I had even just 3 glasses of wine at all 7 parties I am going to, that would = approximately 2,520 calories in just alcohol.
That amount of calories is more than what I consume in an entire day! In addition, alcohol also dehydrates our bodies. So I like to stick to the rule of having a glass of water in-between each alcoholic drink that I have. Another great tip is having Vodka Water instead of a highball with pop. This doesn’t taste the best (in my personal opinion, unless you add lots of freshly squeezed lemon) but is a great option if you are looking to enjoy an adult bevy as the average calories is 106 per glass (based on 210ml or almost 1 cup).
What tips do you have to stay healthy during the holidays? I would love to hear in the comments below so I can give it a try this holiday season.