How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

healthy eating holidaysI think that’s an oxymoron: how to eat healthy during the holidays. Is it possible? Well, not for most – but IF you have some pretty good will power, it is possible to not eat so badly during the holidays. The problem isn’t really the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s), it’s the month and a half that the three holidays span over. Everyone seems to justify eating badly starting the week of Thanksgiving, which luckily is a little later this year, all the way through the 1st of January. The problem this year is that the 1st is on a Thursday, so most people will take off Friday and will continue eating badly until the 5th of January.

So kiss the New Year’s “eating good” resolution out the window until Monday the 5th. Why? Because everyone will always justify that “I will start Monday.” Not sure why everything has to start on a Monday, but that’s the way it seems. It’s like the old Popeye cartoon: Wimpy will gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today and Tuesday never comes. That is the same with eating better. We are always going to “start on Monday,” and it never quite seems to happen.

So here are my suggestions for eating healthy, or at least healthier, during the holiday season. Eat what you want ON THE HOLIDAY. Yes, you heard that correctly: so over the time span of Monday the 24th of November until Monday the 5th of January, you can eat what you want on 3 days, Thanksgiving, Christmas and News Year’s. I don’t mean eat badly all day, but go ahead and eat the desserts, the turkey, ham and all the other festive treats. Just try to eat good on the other days: high protein, low carbs and moderate fats. It’s never the turkey anyway – that has a ton of protein – it’s the stuffing, loaded up baked potato and those wonderful desserts. Oh, and of course the booze.

The best way to do this is to stay away from the table that has all the snacks and desserts on it. There is always one (or more) of these tables at everyone’s house or party, and typically that is where everyone congregates. Resist it, don’t gravitate towards it – that table is the enemy. If you have one cookie, that’s fine – it’s having one of every type of cookie and one of every dessert that kills you. Besides that, the experts say that you actually only gain an average of 2 pounds over the holidays(not too bad), but the problem is that we typically don’t lose it over the year. So 2 pounds a year for 20 years means that if you are 25 now, by the time you are 45 you will have gained at least 40 extra pounds!

It won’t be easy, but you can do it. Continue to exercise daily over the holidays to help offset the additional calories, make your resolution and start it today, not on January 5th.