How To Achieve Healthy Holidays 2023?
The holiday season is a magical time of year, marked by the warmth of joyful gatherings with family and friends. It’s a season when we come together to celebrate, reflect, and create cherished memories. However! – amidst the festivity, there exists a unique set of challenges for those who have committed themselves to a lifestyle of well-being.
The banquet tables are often laden with an array of delectable temptations that can make even the most dedicated health enthusiasts waver. It’s all too easy to temporarily veer off course from your carefully crafted diet and fitness regimen.
Yet, the good news is that maintaining your healthy habits and fitness goals during the holiday season is not an insurmountable task at all! It’s not as hard as you think to have healthy holidays this year.
With some mindful strategies, you can strike a balance between savoring the fun and remaining true to your commitment to health. By adhering to a few tips and practices, you can feel prepared to navigate the season with greater ease, and come out of it with even more resilience than going in.
This holiday season, let’s explore a guideline of strategies I’ve put together for you to stay on track.
Each of these 7 practical tips will enable you to enjoy a healthier, happier and even more fulfilling celebration. You don’t need to compromise your well-being but truly embrace it – and I think that’s something to celebrate too!
Healthy Holidays Tip 1: Practice Moderation (& Indulge in Conversation!)
The holiday season is pretty synonymous with delicious, calorie-rich foods and sweets around every corner. While it’s pretty essential to enjoy some of these treats, practicing moderation is key to preventing holiday weight gain or sabotaging hard work you’re putting into your fitness and healthy eating habits.
Try this out: instead of sampling a bit of everything and piling your plate high, focus on smaller but adequate portions of your absolute favorites. By savoring the flavors of select dishes, you can indulge without overindulging. If there’s someone upset you’re not trying their dish – it’s a great excuse to get the recipe!
Additionally, opt for healthier side dishes, like steamed vegetables or a fresh salad, to balance out the meal to stay eating healthy over the holidays. Start up on the lower calorie options first before sampling the decadent holiday fare.
So just remember:
Avoid going back for seconds immediately after your initial plate, as it takes time for your stomach to signal fullness to your brain. Engage in conversation and enjoy the company of others to help control your urge to overeat.
Distract yourself by participating in party games or holiday activities. If you find yourself tempted to indulge further, excuse yourself for a short walk or step outside for some fresh air. This can help reset your appetite.
Take time to be present throughout your holiday meals. So turn off electronics and distractions, and focus on enjoying the food, the company and the conversation. This is what the holidays are really all about!
But it does help that eating mindfully helps you tune into your body’s fullness signals and prevents overindulging. It’s a major key to sticking to healthy eating over the holidays. Remember, the holiday season offers an abundance of opportunities to enjoy festive foods; there’s no need to consume everything in one meal. Be choosy about what you really want to splurge on and which foods you can live without. A little moderation goes a long way.
Healthy Holidays Tip 2: Eat Before You Eat
Arriving at a holiday gathering on an empty stomach can lead to overindulgence in calorie-dense holiday treats. To prevent this, I have one of my best healthy holidays tips: have a nutritious mini-meal before heading to the event!
Choose a balanced snack that combines protein, healthy fats, and fiber, such as a small serving of Greek yogurt with berries or a handful of nuts and an apple. You can also opt for oatmeal made with milk or a veggie omelet paired with whole grain toast. These provide sustained energy and keep you feeling fuller for much longer.
This pre-event snack can help curb your appetite, making you less likely to overeat at the function! While at the event, prioritize things you really want to eat, then savor and enjoy the flavors without feeling overly full.
Listen to your body’s hunger cues and stop eating when you start to feel satiated. Avoid mindless snacking just because food is available. I know it’s hard when the temptation is there. But just remember your pre-event snack and make intentional choices. This one helps a ton and will make sure you have not only healthy holidays together, but happy ones you fully enjoy!
Healthy Holidays Tip 3: Share Your Fitness Journey
Don’t keep your fitness aspirations a secret during the holiday season. Sharing your goals with family, friends, and co-workers can not only help you stay accountable but also inspire others to make healthier choices.
Let them in on your commitment to living a long, healthy life – and express your desire for them to join you on this journey!
Discuss the progress you’ve made in improving your eating habits, fitness routine, and overall well-being. You could share resources and tips that have helped you succeed, like this article.
When your loved ones understand your dedication to a healthier lifestyle, they’re more likely to support your choices and might even decide to make better decisions themselves. Your inspiration can go far so don’t hide it! You can positively influence those around you by openly talking about your fitness aims and healthy eating over the holidays. Lead by example and offer compassion if others struggle with maintaining healthy habits during the holidays.
A really great way to enjoy healthy holidays 2023 is doing it together. Encourage group activities like holiday hikes, fitness challenges, or cooking healthier meals together. By fostering an environment of wellness, you can collectively embrace a healthier holiday season. Sharing your fitness journey benefits everyone.
Healthy Holidays Tip 4: Incorporate Extra Cardio
The holiday season brings with it a surplus of calories from indulgent treats and feasts. So let’s counteract this! Consider incorporating extra cardio and exercise into your daily routine. Even during this busy time, there are tons of ways to squeeze in some additional physical activity!
Going for a brisk walk with family or friends after a meal is a great way to engage in conversation while burning off those extra calories. It’s one of my favorites!
At the mall for holiday shopping? Opt for the stairs instead of escalators or elevators. If weather permits, take your bike for a ride, or go for a jog in your local park. Even getting out to the mall itself instead of online shopping, can help you be a few good steps closer to a healthy holidays 2023.
Aim to set aside time for these activities, not only to burn off extra calories but also to help maintain your energy levels during the holiday season. Cardiovascular exercises not only assist in managing your calorie intake but also contribute to overall well-being. They boost your mood, relieve stress, and improve sleep – these are all benefits that are particularly helpful during the hectic holiday season. Some of us get very down over the holidays, and exercise is one of the best ways to beat the winter blues.
If you can’t make time for lengthy workout sessions, simply go for 10-15 minute cardio bursts because those can make a difference. Do jumping jacks or jog in place during a commercial break. Try intervals of high intensity and recovery while listening to festive music. Take the dog out for an extra lap around the block. Look for small slots in your day to move your body.
Outdoor winter exercise can be enjoyable when dressed properly. Seeing friends and family while walking or running in the cold burns extra calories and lifts your spirits. Don’t let the season deter you from cardio!
Healthy Holidays Tip 5: Plan Your Resolutions
As the year draws to a close, now’s the perfect time to reflect on your health and fitness goals for the upcoming year. What do you want to achieve in terms of your well-being and fitness? Are there specific milestones you hope to reach, or new habits you wish to adopt? Use this period of reflection to establish a clear vision of your resolutions.
Healthy holidays in 2023 extend all the way to the end of the year!
Consider looking back at the past year to identify areas of growth and assess what worked well versus what didn’t. Learn from your successes and also learn from your mistakes; both will help you make realistic goals for the new year. Break down bigger objectives into smaller, measurable steps that you can implement week by week.
Planning your fitness resolutions early can help keep you motivated during the holiday season. Consider setting achievable, incremental goals that align with your long-term vision. Whether it’s running a 5K, losing a certain amount of weight, or consistently incorporating healthier eating habits, having a plan in place makes it easier to stay focused on your fitness journey and healthy eating over the holidays.
Take advantage of resources to help you! Apps, fitness trackers and journals help quantify your progress so you can set specific, data-driven resolutions. These provide insights on habits to improve on and determine realistic goals based on your current baselines. Leverage technology tools for informed resolution planning, or even keeping track of your healthy holidays. Every bit of motivation helps!
Healthy Holidays Tip 6: Leave the Leftovers Behind
If you’re attending a holiday gathering rather than hosting one, it’s important to resist the urge to bring home excessive amounts of leftovers. Politely decline the offer to take these extra dishes which can easily lead to post-holiday snacking on all the leftovers.
There’s some important considerations though. If you’re worried about food waste, try offering to share the leftovers with other guests or inquire if the host would prefer to keep them. Leaving the leftovers behind is a proactive step in managing your holiday food intake and preventing unintentional overindulgence in the days following the celebration. It’s a strategy that aligns with practicing moderation during the holiday season.
Keep in mind that eating leftovers is often mindless when we are doing it. We eat them simply because they are readily available rather than due to true hunger. Avoid setting yourself up for this pitfall by leaving the extra dishes behind, especially sweets and heavy calories.
If you do take some home – sometimes it’s just the only polite thing to do! – immediately divide and store servings in individual containers. Freeze anything you need to so you don’t waste food. This makes grabbing second helpings way less tempting as you need to actually go through the effort to unseal a new container each time. Portion control is easier when leftovers have a set amount divided up to enjoy.
Healthy Holidays Tip 7: Share the Wealth (of Food)
If you’re the host of a holiday gathering, you have the unique opportunity to not only create wonderful memories but also to make a positive impact on your guests’ health and well-being.
How can you extend the healthy holidays 2023 to your friends and family?
Sharing the wealth, in this case, pertains to the excess food from celebrations. Instead of packing up and keeping all the leftover holiday dishes, consider giving them away to your guests as they depart. This act of generosity has several benefits, both for you and your guests!
First and foremost, it helps prevent overindulgence. After a festive meal, it’s not uncommon to feel overly full, leading to a desire to continue snacking on rich holiday fare in the days following the gathering. Sounds contradictory but it’s so true! When you overeat, it really leads you down a dangerous path of overeating even more!
Let your guests know they can take home any uneaten dishes. Encourage them to pack a plate of their favorites to enjoy in moderation later.
Sharing the wealth reinforces the spirit of the holiday season too – one of giving and togetherness. Your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness and may even be inspired to incorporate healthier eating habits into their own lives. When we receive gifts of food, we tend to value it more than if we simply took it upon ourselves. This gesture spreads holiday cheer and reminds us to be grateful.
This gesture is especially valuable in the current climate, where food waste is a growing concern. By redistributing excess food to your guests, you are helping to minimize waste, and promote sustainability and responsible consumption for good health and the health of the planet!
As guests are departing, help them select a variety of leftovers to take home. Provide freezer-safe storage bags or foil so they can properly preserve and later thaw dishes. Guide them to nutrient-dense sides and lighter fare to compliment the decadent items. Offer balanced bundles that become healthy meals.
You can even get creative with food storage solutions like mason jars or beeswax wraps.
Make the leftovers feel like gifts!
Overall, sharing the wealth of food as a host is a win-win situation. It fosters the holiday spirit of giving, reduces food waste, promotes responsible consumption, and helps you maintain your commitment to a healthier lifestyle during the holiday season. It’s a small yet impactful step towards a more mindful and health-conscious celebration.
Apply These 7 Tips for a Happy & Healthy Holidays 2023
As you can see and know very well – the holiday season offers much merriment! But it can also present health challenges.
Now you also know that a Happy & Healthy Holidays 2023 is very accomplishable!
With some intentional strategies, you can strike the right balance of enjoying festive foods while still honoring your fitness goals and sticking to healthy eating over the holidays. Prioritize moderation, pep up your exercise routine, share your healthy lifestyle with loved ones, and avoid temptations like excessive leftovers. And very importantly, reflect on your aspirations for the new year. If you want some more ideas about New Year’s fitness goals and ideas, check out my New Year’s Health and Fitness Goals article.
Embrace the spirit of giving this season – with your time, energy and even excess food. And give yourself your own gift – the gift of valuing your health!