This article on how to stay healthy during the holidays originally appeared on my blog, The Bewitchin’ Kitchen. It was too good to not share and I have been receiving a ton of questions about it. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. – Randa
How to Stay Healthy During The Holidays
From not gaining weight over Christmas to keep the cold and flu at bay here are some great Christmas health tips.
I want to start this out by saying to remember moderation.
The key to staying healthy over the holidays is moderation and mindfulness.
It’s okay to indulge a little over the holiday period but where we get into trouble is if we overdo it. Key takeaway – don’t eat 5 cookies, a massive feast, skip vegetables and healthy snacks, then down 2 Starbucks spiked with Irish Cream on a regular basis.
If you’re looking to maintain your weight loss, here’s how to lose weight during the holidays.
Christmas Health Tips to Keep You Ontrack
Here are a few ways you can have a healthier Ho Ho Ho and Happy New Year:
1. Meal Planning and Meal Prep
It’s a busy time of year: parties, festivities, special events, and gatherings. The result is that we end up eating haphazard meals either standing at someone’s buffet table or scarfing a takeout after getting home late.
Planning some meals ahead of time, and even prepping some to put in the freezer, will keep you from doing the last minute pizza dash to get everyone fed!
Check out the free meal plan below for a free
2. Wash Your Hands
It’s cold and flu season. If your kids are like mine, they’re constantly bringing home bugs and sickness. Wash your hands, and when in doubt – wash them more.
You might be going to a lot more parties or events, shaking hands with friends and strangers alike.
Germs don’t care if you are friends though. Germs will love you no matter what, so make sure you take care to wash your hands when you can, carry some hand sanitizer for when you can’t and take care to avoid touching your face.
The single biggest way to get sick is by touching someone who has the cold virus and then touching your face.
Your nose and mouth are the first places those germs want to go and by scratching your nose twelve times, you’ve given them a one-way ticket!
3. Follow a drink with a glass of water
When you’re out at a party, by all means, have a cup of eggnog or a glass of spiked punch but follow up that drink with a glass of water.
You can always bump it up with some sparkling water and lime, but dehydration is a real thing and it tends to happen when we’re not paying too much attention to what we’re taking in, liquids wise.
4. Get out and play
Sure, the weather can be a little frightful come winter but if you dress in warm layers, a little outdoor fun is a great way to enjoy some time with the family AND stay healthier.
- Ever tried running around in the snow? It’s difficult.
- How about an epic snowball fight?
- Or a game of
hideand seek in the park?
- Or building a snowman?
- Snowshoeing is big where I live and it’s great exercise.
- We have an
outoorrink near our house, maybe look to see what your neighborhood offers.
A walk around the neighborhood to take in the Christmas lights is a fun way to add a little activity into your day. There are a lot of ways you can get out and enjoy the frosty weather, all of which will lead you home to a steaming cup of cocoa with marshmallows.
Refocusing some of the fun of the holidays on activities, rather than food, can go a long way to keeping you healthier this season.
5. Eat before you eat
Cocktail party snacks are the best but one thing they tend not to be is healthy. Again, it’s okay to nibble on delectable treats in moderation but you don’t want to arrive
Make sure you have a healthy snack before you venture out and you won’t find yourself needing to dominate the platter of brie and cranberry puffs.
Or bring your own healthier options, like this Pesto Hummus Dip.
A side benefit here is that if you are going to indulge in some alcoholic beverages, you won’t be doing it on an empty stomach. Drinking without eating something too is the fast track to wearing a lampshade on your head, so skip that Instagrammable moment and load up on some veggies, proteins and complex carbs before you head out.
I don’t believe in deprivation. ENJOY THE SEASON. Eat one or two of the shortbread cookies that you can’t stop thinking about – just don’t eat the whole batch.
Related: Gluten free shortbread cookies.
6. Drive Safe
Traffic levels and snowy weather are up during the holidays, and very often, patience is at a minimum, so whether you’re driving to visit family or just going across town to attend a party, leave yourself plenty of time to get there with minimal stress.
I’m also going to emphasize something you should already know. If you have had a few glasses of wine – please call a cab, use public transit, call a friend. Before you head out, look into the options in your city. Call your local high schools to see if the grading class is offering dd’ing for tips to fund for graduation or a class trip, look to see if your city offers a program like Operation Red Nose. For those of you not in Canada, Operation Red Nose is where someone drives you home and another person follows behind with your vehicle.
7. Lower your stress
Speaking of stress, if you know there are certain things that stress you out every year, like Aunt Ida’s political views or your skyrocketing credit card bill, try to plan ahead to deal with these issues. Ask Aunt Ida to tell you about her trip to Aruba instead, and put together a shopping budget that you will at least TRY and stick to. Holidays should be fun, not stressful!
Most importantly, take care of yourself. The holiday period is the perfect time to sleep in, finally read that book that’s been sitting on your bedside table or just lounging in front of the fire.
Here are a few self care examples for you to follow.
I also like the Insight Timer app!
Whatever you do this holiday season, make sure you rest, relax and have fun. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
How do you stay healthy during the holidays?