Eat, drink, be merry – finding a healthy balance during the holidays.

Well it’s that time of year again. You just get through with the Halloween candy and in comes the holiday season.

 Let’s be honest, not many people will be losing weight over the next few weeks. To maintain your weight with the upcoming influx of parties, dinners, cocktails, cookie exchanges and family gatherings is almost a Christmas miracle in itself :).  When it comes to weight management and exercise over the festive period, we all approach it differently.

Getting ready to sit down to a feast.

Getting ready to sit down to a feast.

Some people will eat, drink and eat some more. They will over indulge and do so guilt free because “it’s the holidays”.  It’s also a last hurrah before they bare down for a fresh healthy start to a new year full of new resolutions involving new exercise and diet regimes.
Some would rather leave the belly “like a bowl full of jelly” to the big guy in the red suit.
They prefer to look at the holidays as just another day and not a reason to let all their willpower and control of their diet fly out the window.  Their exercise routine will not fall to the wayside.  These are the very disciplined and strong willed individuals.

And then there are those of us who would like to find a nice balance, eat, enjoy and be merry without having to bring along the stretchy pants.  While not impossible to accomplish, a little planning is required.

I won’t say one of the these types of handling the holidays is better than another, but I will tell you that I do try the more balanced approach.

In order to succeed in enjoying my season of festivities, here are a few things I do:

  • I don’t deprive myself, I will allow myself some sweet treats or savory hors d’oeuvres – however I do practice portion control, I’ll choose to have a few of my favorites and move on to the veggie or fruit platter. How can I be sure they will have healthy options?  I usually will bring a platter or dish that I know is healthy as my contribution to the party or dinner, this way I can be sure to have some options.   I will move away from where the food is and engage in conversation and enjoy the social aspect of the party and not only the menu.
  •  It is definitely harder to stick to my exercise routine during these busy times but I really do put in the effort to stay on track. While the holiday season may last several weeks, there really are only a few days that fitness centres may be closed, class schedules reduced and following your regular exercise program is not possible.  On those days I suggest  a physical activity for the family to do together.  Enjoy a family afternoon walk or a day of tobogganing, skiing or skating.
How you choose to handle the holidays is up to you, but being just a little mindful will go along way.
Having a good time at one of many holiday parties.

Having a good time at one of many holiday parties.

Being able to celebrate without over indulging is on my list this year. Remember this time of year is all about enjoying yourself with friends and family.  Have a wonderful holiday season.



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