10 Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season

Dec 18, 2017

The average American is expected to eat about 7,000 calories on Christmas Day – that’s over 3x the recommended intake! Couple holiday eating habits with the stress of gift giving, and many of us leave the Christmas season needing a holiday from our holiday.

Try something new this year…
Photo of healthy substitutes

  1. Take time for yourself. If you’re used to running three mornings a week, then continue to give yourself time to do that – no matter what. Your friends and family will enjoy a more relaxed, fully-present you if you’re able to take time for yourself in the midst of the madness.
  2. Decide on your per-drink limit for the event, and then stick with it. Alcohol is one of the fastest ways to drive up your calorie (and sugar) count. A glass of wine has about 130 calories. (This assumes a 5-ouce pour; most of us actually go way over this amount.) A pint of 5% beer is about 230 calories and a dirty martini can have up to 400 calories. ​
  3. Determine your meal times, and don’t snack outside of those. This will prevent “drive by” snack pick ups on your way back to the couch and all-day snacking on Christmas goodies, which are often very high in saturated fat and sugar.
  4. Start the day with a healthy breakfast. You’re more likely to stick with healthier items the rest of the day.
  5. Say “no” to some gifts. Over 60% of Americans report that the holidays cause them stress. A significant source of this stress? One of five people reported finding the right gift was their #1 worry. Just because you’ve always exchanged with someone doesn’t mean the tradition needs to continue…
  6. Opt for healthier substitutes. Skip the sausage in this year’s stuffing and just use bread and veggies, swap vegetable oil for applesauce or Greek yoghurt, or try vanilla extract or maple syrup instead of sugar. Here are some more healthy substitutions.
  7. If you’re a white-wine drinker, add a splash of soda water to make your drink last longer.
  8. Make get-togethers active. If you’re catching up with an old friend who’s in town, suggest a walk instead of grabbing drinks. Coordinate a flag football game or a hike for the family mid-way through Christmas Day.
  9. Wash your hands, and get some rest. There’s usually something other than holiday cheer that gets spread around this time of year. Washing hands and getting enough sleep are two of the most important things you can do to ward off germ.
  10. If you’re used to having something in your hand, then start the night with a soda water before switching to an alcoholic drink and alternate between alcohol and water.