Healthy Living

Healthy Holiday Tips

December 07, 2021

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Tips to help you stay healthy during the holidays
By Legacy Good Samaritan's Weight and Diabetes Institute 

Do not skip meals

  • Do not be tempted to “save up” for a feast. This usually backfires as it’s difficult to make healthy choices when we’re too hungry. 
  • If you overindulged, no need to feel guilty and/or “compensate” by starving yourself the next day. Instead, get back on track with your healthy intentions.
  • Avoid the “all-or-nothing” mentality. Try to not let one meal / food choice snowball into weeks of overindulging. Take it meal-by-meal. 

Have a plan. Make a list of:

  • How can I deal with stressful situations (or stressful people) without using food?
    - Warm bath and soothing music
    - Quiet time by the fire with a journal, magazine, or book
    - Bring a supportive person to parties or gatherings
  • What foods can I do without?
    - Skip the everyday extras
  • Which iconic foods can I not miss? Give yourself permission for guilt-free enjoyment and practice portion control.
    - Always see part of your plate
    - Use a small appetizer sized plate
    - Savor
    - Don’t forget to take beverages into account
  • How can I celebrate without using food?
    - Ornament making party
    - Crafting instead of baking
    - Volunteering 

Get creative

  • Recipes
  • Offer to be the host
  • Have containers ready to give away leftovers
    - Takeout containers from restaurant supply store 
    - Chinese food containers from Michaels Craft Store
  • Position yourself away from the buffet table
  • If you’re a guest, bring a healthy dish (this ensures there will be at least one nutritious option) 

Be physically active every day

  • Invite friends and family to do a post-meal walk around the block
  • Sign up for a “Turkey Trot” or “Reindeer Dash”
  • Have a holiday music dance party
  • Gentle stretches and movements to your ability in the morning and before bed

Be mentally active every day 

  • Take 5 mindful breaths before beginning to eat
    - Name 5 holiday items you see before you
    - List 4 colors you see
    - What 3 things do you physically feel
    - What 2 sounds do you hear
    - List 1 scent that you smell
  • Exercise your gratitude by taking your time, chewing well, savoring each bite thoroughly 

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