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NEWS | Dec. 14, 2015

Healthy Holidays

By JB Charleston Health Promotion Office

The holidays can be a stressful time for those who are trying to lose weight, improve body composition or simply stay on track with a healthy lifestyle. It is not uncommon to put on a few extra pounds during the holiday season but, if you are conscious about your choices, you can avoid the guilt (and subsequent crash dieting around the New Years).

Instead of ignoring your health goals until the holidays are over, why not make some simple changes now that can help make it easier for you down the road? Here are a few tips to help you make it through the season without packing on the pounds:

Be Realistic. Set reasonable, achievable goals.

Don't Skip Meals. Skipping breakfast or lunch to save calories for a later indulgence often backfires.

Plan Ahead. Start each week off right by planning and preparing healthy meals and snacks

Contribute a Healthy Dish. Instead of bringing your favorite baked good to the holiday party, bring a dish that fits your nutrition goals.

Stay Active. Pay attention to how active you are each day by wearing a fitness tracker or a simple pedometer.

Ask for Support. Confide in a friend or family member you trust.

When it comes to making healthy choices, there are so many obstacles that can get us off track. Below are a few difficult situations you may encounter and ideas for healthy solutions.

Scenario 1: You're out shopping for some great Christmas deals: you're going to get hungry (and thirsty)! Pack some smart snacks and save some calories.

Scenario 2: It's the holidays and no matter where you go (at work, at home, at family gatherings, even at stores), people keep pushing food and treats your way. It's good to have a plan to get out of these pushy situations.

Remember, the holidays should be about spending time with those you love, enjoying experiences, giving to those in need and celebrating your spirituality. Shift the focus from food indulgences that last a few moments, to more meaningful experiences that will last a lifetime. 

If you are looking to stay on track during the holiday season or start implementing new health goals, consider joining Health Promotion's Weight Management Program. Learn to eat right, achieve a healthy weight, exercise, and adopt a total healthy lifestyle in an evidenced based format proven to produce long lasting results. Participants 18 years and older can join at anytime free of charge by calling the Health Promotion Office at (843)-963-4087.