How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

By Janelle @ Run With No Regrets | fitness

Nov 24

Happy Friday!  Somehow we are over halfway through November…seriously, how has this happened?! Christmas commercials are playing and you know the Black Friday shopping deals have been online for weeks already!  I guess I can’t deny it anymore–the holiday season is on its way!

So I thought now would be a good time to update an old post and share some tips on how to stay healthy over the holidays! This can be an incredibly stressful time, for many reasons, and I know when I get stressed, my healthier habits go by the wayside. So hopefully these tips will serve as a friendly reminder.

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida for Fit Five Friday and Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running for Runners’ Roundup!

It's time to get ready: Here are some tips on How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays! #runnersroundup #fitfivefriday Click To Tweet

How to Stay Healthy Over the Holidays

Keep Yourself Accountable

If you have certain nutrition goals for celebrating the holidays, your friends and family can be your allies.  Let them know that your goal is to eat healthier, and they can give you a nudge if they notice you grabbing another glass of egg nog (more power to you, I hate the stuff!). Maybe your actions can even encourage them to re-evaluate their habits, if only for one day!

Prepare Healthy(ier) Dishes

If you have a family that cooks the way mine does, then there is no such thing as a “healthy” dish at Thanksgiving or Christmas/Hanukkah dinner!  You’ve got rich, heavy sauces, lots of butter, and pounds of sugar at every turn!  So if you’re responsible for a certain dish, try making some “lighter” substitutions. At this point, my family knows I’ll have something “healthy” up my sleeve for side dishes. I usually make a roasted Brussels sprouts dish and try to make baked goods from scratch with simple ingredients.  But here’s my advice based on personal experience: don’t advertise to the family that your dish is healthy…let the food “speak” for itself!

I’ve made Julie’s Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and Cranberries a few times for the holidays and it’s a family favorite!

Fit In Some Fitness

With the busyness of the holidays, it may be hard to find time to work out, but there are so many health benefits to keeping physically active, and not just from a dieting perspective. Heading out for a walk, run, or hopping on the Peloton can also be a great stress relief, perfect for this time of year. And the great thing is that even 15 minutes can make a difference. I’ve started to get back into 15 minutes of yoga before bed, and it helps my tired muscles and helps me sleep. Find the activity that works for you and squeeze it into your schedule as best as you can! I can’t wait to run a Turkey Trot this year, it’s become a family tradition!

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Running a 1-mile turkey trot on Thanksgiving 2019!

Keep An Eye on Portion Sizes

It’s easy to lose track of calories consumed over the holidays, especially if you’re snacking throughout the day. If you want to avoid overeating, keep your portion sizes portion-sized.  For example, one serving of turkey should be about the size of a deck of cards.  I like to have a little bit of everything on my plate to start, so in order to fit it all, I have to keep my portions reasonable. Surprisingly, a big calorie bomb is from beverages – soda, punch, wine, egg nog…it all adds up! I try to keep my water glass full to avoid drinking too much alcohol on the holidays.  

Manage Your Stress

While physical health is one matter, it is so important to take care of your mental health as well!  Shopping for gifts, preparing for family visits, and getting your menu planned can be so stressful at this time of year.  Use whatever methods work for you to manage your stress, be it by meditating, watching mindless TV shows, or hitting a punching bag! It can be hard to schedule that time for yourself, but make it a priority! And sometimes you may need to isolate yourself from people and situations that are not good for your mental health over the holidays.  Seek out help from a loved one or professional if you’re feeling particularly troubled or overwhelmed.

Give Yourself Grace

This is a new category for this post, and I’m almost ashamed that I didn’t include it before. Despite everything that I have said here, it is extremely important to give yourself grace over the holidays. I don’t think you should deprive yourself during the holiday season, especially when it’s often the only time of year where you get to indulge in some of your favorite dishes and treats. Macaroni and cheese is my all-time favorite! And I try not to feel guilty if I’m a little less physically active around the holidays. If you’re like me, you want to “do it all”, and social media makes it seem so easy, but it’s not! More than anything, holidays should be a celebration and a time to reflect and enjoy time with loved ones.

What do you do to stay healthy over the holiday season?

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