Trying to stay healthy during the holidays? It’s possible.

Dec 22, 2020

From watching your calories to staying active, here are tips to not add too many pounds this Christmas

A study from the American Heart Association reports the average person gains three pounds during the holiday season (Halloween to New Year’s).

Our first question: Who are these people that only gain three pounds? But more seriously: Is it possible to stay healthy during the holidays? Julia Gammon

Staying healthy this time of year doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the parties and celebrations. It’s all about moderation.

“What’s important is to watch how we consume calories,” says Julia Gammon, education specialist/clinical dietitian with the St. Joseph’s/Candler Wellness Center. “Are they empty calories – meaning they add no nutritional value to your diet such as sugary beverages and fatty foods? Or are you getting mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins?”

Another way to avoid the holiday bulge is to try to plan ahead. Let’s take a look at some slimming options to your favorite holiday treats:

  • Like eggnog? Fill your glass with mostly low-fat or skim milk and add a small amount of eggnog for the flavor but fewer calories.
  • If you’re more of a hot chocolate drinker, use low-fat or fat-free cocoa mixes with low-fat or nonfat milk or hot water.
  • Who doesn’t like a toast at midnight, but too many overindulge on alcohol during the holiday season. Reduce your alcohol intake by drinking water or sparkling water between each alcoholic drink.
  • Compare labels of your favorite holiday ingredients and choose items with less sodium and saturated fats and no added sugars.
  • Want your cake (or pie) and eat it too? Consider the buddy system and split your dessert with someone or try bite-sized or half portions.

One other reminder: Stay active. Go for walks after meals, don’t skip the gym and keep moving.

So see, it is possible to stay healthy during the holidays. Here’s a happy – and healthy – holiday season to all.

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