Tips for Staying Healthy Over the Holidays

By Heather Willett

The holidays are known for large meals and lots of eating, so it’s no surprise that people have a tendency to gain weight over the holidays. While the holidays can be a fun time to socialize and see people you don’t usually get to see, it can also be a stressful time for those who are focused on creating a healthy life. In order to prevent you from losing momentum and keep you on track, we have offered a few tips for staying healthy this holiday season.

  1. Eat Well – Carbohydrates make up most of a holiday meal, but there can also be delicious vegetable side dishes. Fill your plate up with these veggies and the turkey or other lean protein. The goal is to focus on eating more alkaline foods like broccoli, green beans, spinach, kale, pumpkin, pomegranate, quinoa and Brussels sprouts. This will keep your body from turning acidic, which can lead to disease, pain and discomfort. Lastly, remember that just because it is on the table does not mean you need to eat it.
  2. Limit Alcohol – We have discussed the effects of alcohol in this previous blog, and even though you may indulge in a couple drinks this holiday season, you can make a healthier choice depending on what you choose. Overall, though, we recommend limiting alcohol as much as possible.
  3. Avoid Overindulgence – When we are socializing and surrounded by food, our brains can have a difficult time reading our body. This can mean that we don’t initially identify how full we might be. Taking the time to chew your food can help your brain register if you have had enough food and are full. This can help make sure you don’t overeat and wind up with a stomach ache. It is also crucial to avoid saving up calories for one meal. Make sure you have a healthy breakfast and a light lunch before dinnertime.
  4. Detox – After a heavy meal, spend the next day eating vegetables and light salads and have a cup of green tea to help your body detox from all the heavy food from the day before.
  5. Hydrate – Water is the source of all life and makes up the majority of our bodies. Staying hydrated this season will help you feel full and help flush out toxins and food. So drink water as often as possible!
  6. Stay Active – This may be an obvious tip to many who want to keep the pounds off, but if working out is already part of your routine you may consider adding in an additional day of exercise or just spend extra time going for a walk after dinner or holiday parties. The physical activity will help you digest the food and will get your blood pumping to help burn some of the calories. Moving your body will also help keep you focused on your goals and aid in preventing you from getting stuck in a holiday rut.
  7. Unwind and De-stress – Holidays are a season of joy, but they can also bring about a lot of stress. With so many family gatherings, holiday bills to pay and difficult interactions, it can be easy to become overwhelmed or stressed out. Anyone who has ever watched Christmas Vacation knows exactly how stressful the season can be, but this stress can lead to emotional strain and even physical symptoms. Taking time to unwind is essential, so do something that makes you feel good like going for a walk, listening to your favorite music, meditating or taking a bath. This will ensure you are taking time for yourself.
  8. Rest Up – A single day during the holiday season could be filled with shopping, cooking and a dinner party, which is a lot to tackle in a single day. With all the holiday activities planned, we may not even realize that we aren’t getting enough sleep. Most people even have a little time off around the holidays, but because we all want to use our time efficiently, we fill up our days with so much that we often become run down. This may easily decrease your immune system’s natural defense and lead to sickness. Take the time to get your 8 hours of sleep a day so you can keep strong and healthy during the season!

The point of the holidays is to enjoy this magical time of year, so don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t 100% on top of it. Just do your best! If you feel like you need some additional help staying in shape, contact us at or call 773-531-2288 to schedule a free personal training consultation.

Happy holidays from all of us at DMSfit!