Plan Ahead! Ways to Stay Healthy at Christmas (and still love the holidays)

I know some people will look at the title of this blog post and think “It’s only the middle of November! We don’t need to think about Christmas yet!” But, I’m the kind of girl who will set up Christmas decorations as soon as I can so that I can enjoy the holiday season for as long as I can, (although Tim is forcing me to wait a bit longer before the tree goes up!)

I’ve even gotten started on writing my Christmas cards!

I am a firm believer that the Christmas holidays should be full of joy, good memories with family and friends, and OF COURSE, good food!! But believe me, the holidays WILL creep up on you so it’s better to start thinking about how you can be healthy now rather than after you’ve filled up on Christmas cookies.

What people don’t realize is that they can eat good food without overdoing it. Most people come away from the holiday season with New Years Resolutions about eating healthy or getting more exercise. So instead of restarting in the new year, why not just keep up that healthy lifestyle throughout the holidays?

Here are three things that I’ve been thinking about and plan to implement during this holiday season so that I can stick with my health goals all year round. I hope you’ll join me this Christmas by implementing these in your life as well.

  1. It’s about portions! Instead of telling yourself that you aren’t going to eat any Christmas cookies all season (that’s just cruel!!), try limiting yourself to a two cookie (or any dessert) rule. That means you won’t eat more than two cookies a day, even Christmas Day. By limiting how many cookies you’ll eat, you will guarantee yourself a maximum of 62 cookies in the entire month of December. Now that is A LOT of cookies!! But I’m sure some of you are guilty (just like me) of having closer to 162 cookies some Christmases (WHOOPS!!). When you give yourself reasonable goals that you can maintain, you’ll feel proud of yourself in your success and your tummy will thank you! There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy some Christmas cookies, it’s the amount that we eat that becomes overkill. This also goes for any food you’ll eat at the holidays – stick to proper portions on turkey, stuffing and gravy as well. Making these goals now will make it easier to say “no” to too much food later.
  2. Don’t say goodbye to the gym! The holidays are not an excuse to cut out your gym routine entirely. You may find that with the busyness of the season you have less time to go to the gym but try and stick with your routine by going at least a couple times a week. By sticking to your routine, you’ll be more motivated to stick with the healthy eating habits as well. I plan to keep up with my gym routine because I don’t want to lose all the hard work I’ve done all year! Sometimes, when you’ve been eating unhealthy and are out of your gym routine, it is easy to lose some momentum and never quite get back into the routine you once had. Don’t quit at the gym entirely! Make manageable gym goals and stick to them.
  3.  Watch the alcohol! I personally do not drink alcohol and I don’t plan to start anytime soon. I hate the taste! But, I know that there are a lot of people who look forward to the seemingly endless flow of alcohol that is present during the holidays. Try portioning out your alcohol intake just like you would the Christmas cookies. Everyone has a different tolerance to alcohol so I can’t give you a number but take a moment to figure out what you think is a healthy limit to the amount of alcohol you’ll be drinking each day. Make a goal that you can achieve without cutting alcohol entirely. There is such a thing as “too much of a good thing” and that definitely applies here!

So tell me, friends, what do you plan to do to stick with your healthy eating habits over the holidays? In the upcoming weeks I’ll be posting a few of my favourite healthy holiday recipes that you can eat without feeling guilty! Stay tuned for these recipes and healthy eating tips in the weeks to come. If you’ve got some habits or recipes you’d like to share, please comment below – I’d love to hear from you and get some new yummy recipes right before the holiday!

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