It’s that time of year where temptations abound from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. From family-favorite comfort foods to tasty sparkling beverages, extra calories sneak in by the hundreds and leave us with tighter waistbands causing the winter blues come January 2nd.

Now is the time to devise a game plan for how to handle eating and working out during the holidays.  There’s nothing more frustrating than to have forty-six weeks worth of success derailed during the last six weeks of the year.

When working with my weight management clients, I recommend that they simply try to maintain their weight from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.  If they lose weight, great, but if they don’t, that’s okay, too.  With a goal of maintenance, it’s easier for them to succeed, and quicker to get back on track after the holidays.


Try these tips for staying on track during the holidays:

1.  Try to continue working out at the same frequency and level that you do the rest of the year.  Sign your family up for a turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning, or go for a walk after you eat on Thanksgiving/Christmas afternoon.  Keep moving, but make sure you’re having fun.  Every minute you’re outside, you’re not inside nibbling on pie and ice cream.

2.  If you’re asked to bring something to a friend or relative’s house for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, ask them what’s on the menu.  Then offer to bring a lite appetizer, salad, or side dish that compliments the meal.  Cooking Lite has some great recipes to check out!

3.  Make good choices and pace yourself on the alcohol consumption at parties.  Arrive well hydrated, and keep in mind that there are far fewer calories in wine than most cocktails.  Also, try to drink a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage.

4.  Try to avoid having your holiday weaknesses in the house.  For me, it’s Southern Comfort eggnog.  I used to scoop it up when I’d first see it in the stores in early November, but it never lasted until I planned to serve it closer to Christmas.  These days, I purchase it only for Christmas Eve or on an as-needed basis for holiday parties.

5.  Enjoy yourself, and for goodness sake, don’t spend six weeks completely denying yourself of everything yummy and delicious.  Do the best that you can, have fun, try your hardest to be healthy, don’t beat yourself up for little slips, and most importantly, get back on track as soon as the holidays are over!


  • Questions:
  • What are your tips for staying healthy during the holidays?
  • What’s your favorite holiday food and/or beverage?
  • Are you racing this weekend?