Three strategies to make merry, healthy choices this season

Create a Holiday Health Vision. Envision today how you want to feel on January 2

  • Did you have energy for the holidays or were you exhausted?
  • Were you present for your children and family instead of going through the motions?
  • Did you look and feel confident by New Year’s?
  • Was your previous health progress all for nothing or did you at least maintain the status quo?

Make a Plan. The desire to eat somewhat healthy over the holidays is simply not enough. You need a specific plan of action to make it a reality.

  • List It. Create a snack list, fridge and freezer list and pantry must-haves to make a quick meal anytime. Set-up a standing, weekly food delivery between now and January so you are always prepared. Spend a little extra on pre-cut veggies or ready to go ingredients (i.e., frozen quinoa, brown rice, veggie burgers, grilled chicken strips) to avoid take-out.
  • Use apps to track food and water (i.e., YAZIO, MyFitnessPal, LifeSUM) as a way to check-in with yourself.
  • Plan ahead. Make and freeze some meals now like a batch of veggie chili or pot of soup. Find out what the food situation is before you go out. Eat before you leave if necessary or offer to bring something to the party that fits your food preferences. Do not show up at a party starving unless you know there are some good options for you.
  • Adjust recipes. Perhaps two sticks of butter or two cups of sugar isn’t necessary in your favourite recipe. Adjust your current recipes or try something new this season.

Find Your Tribe. Finding your “tribe” of supporters throughout the holiday is a proven recipe for success.

  • Team up with others in your circle of family and friends for support and accountability.
  • Talk to those close to you and explain specifically how they can help you. They want to help but need to know how.
  • Lean on your virtual tribe. Keep up discussions on Facebook pages aligned with your eating style or health problem (keto, paleo, gluten-free, diabetes) for support.
  • Find a happy medium between maintaining a strict diet and a food free-for-all to ensure your holiday health vision becomes a reality.

Article contributed by Marissa Costonis, owner of Change Bites, LLC and a Certified Health Coach by Institute for Integrative Nutrition who helps people make easy changes in their eating habits one bite at a time. She’s author of the best-selling Amazon book, Change Bites, 5 Change Management Strategies to Transform Your Health.