5 Tips for a Healthy, Happy Holiday Season

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The holidays are here, which can make it difficult to stay dedicated to our health goals, particularly weight loss. Rather than focusing on losing pounds, what about having the goal of maintaining your weight over the holidays? I have found that this is not only a realistic goal for many of my clients, but that it also allows them to enjoy this time of year. Just like I always say, it is all about balance. As I love a good list, here are my top 5 tips for a healthy, happy holiday season.

  1. Do not go hungry. This applies to wherever you are going, whether it is to a Christmas party, to see a movie at the new theater, or grocery shopping. If it has been a few hours since you had a meal or snack, have a snack with protein before running to your next event. This will help you to not overeat at the party and make better decisions on what you choose to consume.
  2. Use exercise as stress relief. This busy time of year often comes with a fair amount of stress. Instead of hitting up the sugar cookies, what about going for a walk or trying an exercise class at the gym? If you already have an exercise routine, do your best to stick with it in December. This will only make starting off the New Year on a good foot easier.
  3. Offer to bring a dish. Not only will your host be grateful for the help, but you can choose a dish that has vegetables or is lighter than traditional heavy holiday fare.
  4. Watch the alcohol. Those liquid calories can really add up, especially if you are having mixed drinks like eggnog. Before imbibing, have a plan to stick to one or two drinks and to choose lighter options such as wine, champagne or light beer.
  5. Practice mindfulness. While eating, try to slowly enjoy your food and savor the flavors. This can help you to feel more satisfied with less.

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Kate Sayre

Kate Sayre is a Registered Dietitian who counsels clients through her private practice and works in the Department of Nutrition at UNC. On the 1st and 15th of every month, she guest blogs here. 
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