Five Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season

By Michelle Crean November 16, 2017
The Holidays are upon us and while Thanksgiving dinner is one of my favorite meals, all of its deliciousness comes at a price -- the average turkey-day dinner contains nearly 3,000 calories! And that's just the beginning!

However, enjoying your favorite Holiday foods doesn’t have to completely derail your diet. Here are five ways to help make the season a little healthier:

1. EAT BREAKFAST. Too many people mistakenly think that skipping meals to “reserve” your calories for later is the way to indulge without guilt, but that’s not the case, and for a couple of reasons. One -- if you skip meals, your body is going to think it is in starvation mode, and everything you eat after will be stored as fat. Two -- if you’re ravenous, then you will undoubtedly overeat.

2. CONTROL YOUR PORTIONS. We all have those certain dishes that we can’t resist, but that doesn’t mean that we need two heaping helpings of them! Take only one scoop of your faves!

3. SAVOR YOUR FOOD. Each holiday only comes once a year, so don’t rush through your meals. Take small bites, chew slowly, and even put down your fork between bites. This will not only help you to really enjoy the taste of the food, but it will help you feel more full so that you don’t reach for seconds.

4. ALTERNATE WATER AND ALCOHOL. I for one can’t pass up a glass of wine, but our liquid calories can add up quickly and can also lower our inhibitions so that we no longer care about making good food choices. Have a glass of water between drinks to stay hydrated.

5. GO FOR A WALK. Counteract the tryptophan by taking a walk around the block after your meal. It will help keep you from feeling sleepy and will also aid digestion.

With a few simple tweaks, you can enjoy your Holiday meals without worrying about them negatively affecting your fitness goals! Season's Greetings!

Michelle Crean is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise, a Fitness Nutrition Specialist through the National Federation of Personal Trainers, and also holds certifications in Kickboxing Fitness and Core and Functional Fitness. She lives in Springfield, Mass., with her husband, two sons, and their dog Emily.