Ask an Expert: Staying Healthy During the Holidays

Question: Now that the kids are back in school, I’m finally making progress on my fitness goals. I’m scared of getting off track over the upcoming holidays. Do you have any advice on how to stay healthy during the holidays? — Sara First of all, congratulations on committing to a healthy lifestyle! It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the challenges of completing our workouts and eating well over the holidays. Thinking about this ahead of time means you’re already ahead of the game. Whether it’s a Thanksgiving feast or a pre-Christmas holiday party, be sure to view your celebrations as isolated events, rather than a complete derailleur of your healthy lifestyle. Start your day right, with a reasonable breakfast that includes protein and complex carbohydrates, such as fruit and yogurt, or whole grain toast and a boiled egg. Since time is tight at this time of year, take advantage of your home fitness equipment with a short, 15-30 minute, interval workout and a few body weight exercises before you head into your day. You’ll feel better and you’ll kick your metabolism into gear, allowing you to use your holiday feast for post-work out recovery. When you get to the celebration, liquid calories can add up quickly, so opt for wine or juice spritzers, rather than cocktails or beer. During the feast, choose a reasonable serving of your favorite holiday foods, rather than filling up on foods that are not important to you or that you eat frequently. Finally, bring in the healthiest habit of all by choosing to focus on the opportunity to connect with your friends and family, experiencing a mindful and gratitude filled celebration with all of its accompanying gifts. Happy Holidays!