Many of us face the challenges of handling heaps of food at parties or family festivities along with a hectic schedule that allows no room for working out. Never fear, there are some things to help you with these challenges and while you might not be able to exercise as much as you normally would, every little healthy step you take adds up.  So, do the best you can, try these holiday tips and most of all…. Enjoy your holidays!

  1. Drink water. Choose to drink water over anything else. Cold or hot herbal teas are a good option, too. Drink two cups of water when you first wake up in the morning and when you feel hungry outside of your regular mealtime/regular snacks.
    • Holiday Fit Tip: When you arrive at a holiday party, drink two cups of water or herbal tea before you start eating.
  2. Move more, sit less. If you have the option of standing versus sitting, stand. If you have the option of walking versus driving, walk. If you have the option of moving about versus standing, move about. All movement is good.
    • Holiday Fit Tip: When you attend a holiday party or an event, find a way to avoid sitting for the majority of the time.
  3. Something positive is better than nothing. Get away from an all-or-nothing mindset. If you don’t have time for a full workout, do 10 minutes of exercise and you’ll reap some positive benefits. If you forgot to add any fruits or vegetables to your meals during the day, add an apple at night.
    • Holiday Fit Tip: Focus on nutritious foods during the holidays rather than on what you shouldn’t eat. Each time you eat at home or at a holiday party, add things to your plate that are good for you.
  4. Take control. Focus and reflect. Ask yourself: Is this behavior good for me? Be mindful. Choose wisely. Follow-through.
    • Holiday Fit Tip: When you are at a party and about to fill your plate with all the goodies from the buffet, pause and ask yourself: Am I hungry? What do I want to eat? What is available here that is considered healthy?
  5. Half is enough. Eat only half of the less-nutritious foods on your plate. If you take a cookie, for example, eat half of it and pack the other half for another day.
    • Holiday Fit Tip: At a holiday party or event, serve yourself only half of what is on the serving platter. For example, if you want a brownie, cut it in two on the serving platter and only serve yourself half (and don’t go back for seconds).

Dominique Gummelt, PhD – Dominique is a director of university wellness, an international speaker, and an ACE personal trainer.