The holidays are fantastic and they can be a lot of fun. They can also sabotage your health if you’re not careful. Traveling, shopping, holiday parties and spending time (with some of those more distant relatives) can make the season stressful. This added stress can cause you to sleep less, eat more and feel less energetic than usual. However, it is possible to enjoy a healthy holiday season by following a few simple strategies.

Stay Hydrated

Tips for a Healthy Holiday It’s easy to forget to stay hydrated when you’re out shopping, visiting friends and enjoy other holiday festivities. But your body is running on overdrive and you need to stay hydrated to maintain your energy. Keep a water bottle with you at all times (maybe you can find one with a winter scene on it!) and keep sipping throughout the day. Water will energize your cells and help you stay “on the go”. And, because thirst is often misinterpreted as hunger, you’ll snack less too!

Here’s a simple calculation you can use to determine how much water you should be consuming daily. Take your body weight in pounds and divide it in half. That is the number of ounces you should consume daily to stay well hydrated.

Watch What You Eat

There are a lot of goodies around at this time of year and it’s easy to overdue it. Follow these tips to avoid over-eating at your next holiday party.

  • Stock up on nutritious wholesome foods before attending your next party. You won’t feel hungry or the urge to graze through the snack table.
  • Seek out the veggie platter and snack there first. Research suggests that you eat the most of the first item you snack on so make it a healthy choice.
  • When you’re out shopping or running errands bring a healthy snack for energy. Sliced apple, almonds, even a hard boiled egg are great on the go snack choices.
  • Keep your portions small, you can always go back for seconds. If you do go back fill up on veggies!

Take Time to Exercise

The holidays generally mean there’s more to do and less time to do it in but carving out some time for exercise is smart. Exercise can help you manage your stress level and maintain the energy you need to get through your busy day. Additionally, exercise can help you sleep better and keep you metabolism high to work off any additional calories that sneak on to your plate during the season.

Drink Responsibly

Holiday parties often include cocktails. Alcohol acts like sugar in the body and it’s loaded with empty calories. Excess alcohol can impact your sleep, your energy and it can be hard on your body.Remember you can have plenty of fun without it but if you are going to drink try these tips to limit your consumption.

  • Consume a large glass of water between cocktails. It will fill you up, help offset the dehydrating effects of alcohol and you’ll drink less.
  • Count to 3 when pouring a glass of wine. When you count 1 -2 -3 while pouring you more accurately limit your serving size to 5 ounces. Using a wine glass as a guide is deceiving. Because wine glasses come in so many different shapes and sizes 1/2 a glass could be anywhere from 5 oz to 15 oz.

Relax to Enjoy a Healthy Holiday

Give your mind time to unwind and your body time to relax this holiday season. Read a book, take a bath, do some yoga or mediate. Make time to enjoy the spirit of the holidays. Be present with your family and friends and focus on those things that really matter.

Here’s wishing you a happy healthy holiday season.