Healthy Celebrations 2018

“‘Tis the season to be jolly – fa-la-la….” With lots of “jolly” can come lots of food. Tasty, higher calorie foods are everywhere. Parties and travel can make it tough to stick to your healthy habits.

Need some ideas for managing your weight and enjoying the good food you love? Here are 4 tips that can help:

1. Plan for success

• Set healthy boundaries – for your time and your food. Be true to the things that are most important to you this month. Practice saying “no” to those things that aren’t.

• Use more food substitutions. These can barely affect the taste, but can make favorite choices healthier. For ideas, visit or

•Break physical activity up into smaller chunks so it fits into your schedule, like walking 10 minutes several times a day.

•Schedule some “me” time every day. Use a nap, dog walk, or hot bath to get your energy back for the next celebration.

2. Be Savvy at the Buffet

Buffets are appealing to the eyes and the stomach. Tasty holiday food is spread before you. Try these ideas to make healthy choices easier:

•Have a small plate of the foods you like best and then move away from the buffet table.

•Start with vegetables to take the edge off your hunger.

•Eat slowly. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to know you’re full.

• Have pumpkin pie instead of pecan pie. Even with a dollop of whipped cream, you’ll cut calories and sugar by at least a third.

•Avoid or limit alcohol. If you do have an alcoholic drink, have it with food. For overall health reasons, women are encouraged to limit these drinks to no more than one per day; men – no more than 2 per day.

3. Enjoy your Favorites

Many of us have foods we look forward to this month. Plan for those dishes you really love. Slow down and savor a smaller serving. Count it within your healthy eating plan.

4. Be Active

It’s easy to skip being active in December when many more things get added to our schedule. But physical activity is your secret holiday weapon. It can help make up for eating more than usual and reduce stress during this most stressful time of year. Invite your friends and family to join you. Try taking a walk after a holiday meal.

5. Get Your Sleep

Going out more and staying out later often means cutting back on sleep. When we aren’t well-rested, we may tend to eat more. Also, we may prefer high-fat and high-sugar foods. Aim for 7 to 8 hours per night to avoid eating in a way that’s not as good for you.

Most of all, remember what makes this season important for you. When you focus on that, it’s easier to focus less on the food.

Adapted from:

Four Corners Health Department offers many resources to help you live healthier. Call 877-337-3573 or send email to For tasty recipes and more, go to

Enjoy a healthy and safe holiday season!