How To Stay Healthy During the Holidays


Jason Sellers, MD

The holiday season is a time for joy, celebration, time spent with family and friends, and sometimes a departure from the routines that keep us healthy. However, with a bit of planning and mindful choices, you can enjoy the holidays without compromising your health goals!

The holidays can be a wonderful time to reconnect with loved ones and spend time with family and friends, but the abundance of festive treats and busy calendars can make it challenging to stick to a balanced diet and exercise regimen. Here’s a guide on how to keep up with diet and exercise over the holidays.

Set Realistic Goals: Before the holiday season kicks into full swing, take a moment to set realistic goals. Understand that the holidays are a time for indulgence, but that doesn’t mean throwing all caution to the wind. Establish achievable targets that align with your overall health objectives, allowing for a balance between enjoyment and discipline.

Plan Ahead: One of the keys to maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the holidays is planning. If you know you have a holiday gathering or party, plan your meals and snacks accordingly. Consider eating a balanced meal before attending an event to help curb your appetite and reduce the temptation to overindulge.

Mindful Eating at Gatherings: Holiday gatherings often feature an array of tempting treats. Instead of avoiding them altogether, practice moderation and make mindful choices. Prioritize protein and vegetables while limiting your intake of sugary and high-calorie foods. Practice mindful eating by paying attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, opting for smaller portions, and savoring the flavors and textures without going overboard. Eating slowly can help prevent overeating, allowing you to appreciate holiday dishes without the guilt.

Stay Hydrated and Limit Alcohol: Drinking enough water is crucial for overall health, and it can also help you maintain control over your appetite. Before reaching for that extra holiday cookie, consider having a glass of water first to help you differentiate between hunger and thirst. Consume alcohol in moderation, and consider alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated.

Incorporate Physical Activity: The holiday season can disrupt regular exercise routines, but finding ways to stay active is essential. Consider family walks, outdoor activities, or even quick home workouts. Encourage loved ones to join in, turning physical activity into a social and enjoyable part of the holiday festivities.

Get Adequate Sleep and Practice Self-Compassion: The holidays can be hectic, but prioritizing sleep is crucial for overall well-being. Lack of sleep can affect your energy levels, mood, and decision-making, making it harder to stick to healthy habits. If you do indulge more than planned, don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember that the holiday season is a special time, and occasional indulgences are part of the celebration. Practice self-compassion and focus on making healthier choices moving forward.

The holiday season doesn’t have to derail your health and fitness journey. By setting realistic goals, planning ahead, making mindful choices, staying active, and practicing self-compassion, you can enjoy the festivities while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle. And remember, at Radish we are here for you even during the holidays. Don’t hesitate to chat with your dedicated Radish doctor anytime with health related questions or acute medical problems. Cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season!

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