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  • Writer's pictureErin Stefanacci

8 Ways To Navigate The Holiday Season Without Sacrificing Your Health

Fall is in full swing, which means that the holidays are right around the corner. With holiday gatherings in sight, this is the most likely time of the year to gain weight, feel bloated and unproductive, and forget about your good habits.

Despite the focus being primarily on food, drinks and sweet treats, no one said that we have to harm our health in the process?

Read on for 8 ways to avoid sacrificing your health this holiday season.

Avoid skipping meals. It can be tempting to “save your calories” the day of a big dinner, but skipping meals is actually the last thing you should do. This will cause irregularity in blood glucose levels throughout the day, leaving you ravenous when dinner finally arrives. Continue to eat your regular meals, even on holidays. This will ensure your blood sugar remains stable throughout the day and you’ll be more likely to eat a regular sized portion come dinnertime.

Everything in moderation. From food to alcohol, part of the holiday season is being able to enjoy all the delicious food and drinks. Choose to be intentional about your consumption. Allow yourself enjoy a sweet treat here and there but choose meat, veggies and fruits as much as possible. Opt for cocktails made with healthier ingredients such as water, ginger, kombucha and grain free alcohols such as hard cider, red wine and brandy.

Say no. Whether it be alcohol or that extra slice of pie, it’s always okay to politely decline something you don’t want.

Get spicy. Add turmeric and cinnamon to your food as much as possible. It should be easy to admit that some of the food and drink we have access to during the holiday season isn’t exactly the most beneficial for our health. Some of it is actually quite inflammatory and can contribute to blood sugar spikes which can lead to fatigue, irritability and joint pain. Adding turmeric to foods can help the body fight inflammation, while cinnamon is famous for its blood sugar regulating properties.

Pause before seconds. It’s hard not to scarf down that first plate of food and run back for seconds. Try giving yourself 20 minutes after you finish your meal to let the food settle. If you are still hungry after 20 minutes, then allow yourself to get that second helping.

Apply the buddy system. It’s easier to stick to your goals when you have a partner, or accountability buddy, doing it with you.

BYOF. Bring your own food. If you know that you are going somewhere that will only be serving unhealthy options, make something healthier to share. Show people that healthier eating can also be delicious. If bringing something isn’t an option, pack a snack for yourself. Bring some homemade trail mix or other healthy option for when you get hungry.

Keep moving. With busy schedules during the holidays it can be easy to put your self care routine, such as exercise, on the back burner. However, exercise is great for reducing inflammation and might help you keep your cool during this, sometimes, stressful part of the year.

Choose to make the holidays no different than any other time of the year — an opportunity to create more health.

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