Top 8 Tips for Staying Healthy Over the Holidays

Jennifer Ventrelle is a nutrition consultant with the Rush Nutrition and Wellness Center and a certified personal trainer. Here are some of her healthy holiday tips:

Don’t try to lose weight over the holidays

  • The average American gains one to four pounds during the holidays
  • Trying to diet during the holidays is setting yourself up for failure
  • Create an achievable goal to maintain weight through the holiday season

Move more! Plan to exercise!

  • Decreased physical activity is the prime contributor to holiday weight gain
  • Almost guaranteed to eat more, so must burn more!
  • People who are more active keep weight stable during the holidays
  • Walk around mall before doing holiday shopping
  • Do sit-ups in between wrapping presents
  • Dance to holiday music
  • Go for a walk outside; the cold air often feels good when bundled up!

Mind your beverages

  • Avoid high-calorie drinks such as hot chocolate, flavored teas, and eggnog. (1 cup eggnog = 350 calories and 20 grams of fat!)
  • Consume alcohol in moderation
    • Drink a glass of water between each drink
    • Try a non-alcoholic mixer complete with garnish
    • Sip plain club soda, mineral water, or tomato juice with a twist of lemon or lime
    • Limit intake and choose lower-calorie alcoholic beverages
      • 12 oz regular beer = 150-200 calories
      • 12 oz light beer = 55-110 calories
      • 8 oz rum and Coke = 250 calories
      • 8 oz rum and Diet Coke = 100 calories
      • 6 oz wine = 130 calories
      • 6 oz sweet/dessert wine = 280 calories
      • Keep a non-caloric drink in hand to prevent reaching for more food

Never go to a party hungry

  • Eat a healthy snack such as yogurt and fruit, apple and peanut butter, or a small bowl of high-fiber cereal 30 minutes before party
  • Fill first plate with entirely vegetables and drink full glass of water; wait 5-10 minutes and then return only one more time for smaller portions of other foods

Continue reading