Twelve Tips for a Healthier Holiday

During this time of year, we are often surrounded by lots of lovely food and drink. Holiday parties with endless buffets, candies in the office, alcohol, mince pies, eggnog, pumpkin spiced latte – you name it, it’s around to tempt us!

Did you know that some people eat their way through around 6,000 calories on Christmas Day alone? This is about three times more than the average person needs. And over the holiday season, many people gain around 5 pounds in weight, which is equal to an extra 17,500 calories!

Don’t despair – the holidays don’t have to be a time for weight gain. Here are tips to enjoy the festive season and still fit into your favourite outfit on New Years’ Eve.

  1. When grocery shopping, be like Santa, make a list and check it twice! Don’t be tempted to impulse buy.
  2. With festive snacks, avoid the naughty and stick with the nice. Instead of candies, chocolates and chips try pretzels, plain popcorn, dried fruit and vegetable sticks with a tasty low fat dip, e.g., salsa or low fat free greek yoghurt with seasonings.
  3. Before heading to parties, try eating something healthy and filling, so you’re not over hungry when you arrive.
  4. Choose appetizers that are healthy and lower in calories, such as melon, smoked salmon or vegetable soup.
  5. Fill up on vegetables (without adding butter!). A third to a half of your plate should be vegetables.
  6. Despite being fattened up for this time of year, turkey is actually a lean meat- just remove the skin. (Don’t forget to trim the fat off other meats too!)
  7. If you stick to smaller portions of desserts, your waistline may not end up like Santa’s!
  8. The holidays are a time to be merry, but try not to overdo the alcohol. It contains lots of hidden calories, especially sweet cocktails, coolers and creamy liqueurs.
  9. Choose low calorie mixers and sip your drink slowly so it lasts longer.
  10. Try alternating each alcoholic drink with a glass of water or diet soft drink.
  11. Rock around the Christmas tree to burn off any extra calories. Dance the night away to your favourite songs…or even whilst cooking for guests.
  12. Go for a lovely family walk after your fabulous, festive feast. And don’t forget to pound the pavements during those seasonal sales!

You can still enjoy this time of year with your family and friends if you follow these tips. Just don’t overdo those holiday treats.

Remember, this is the season to celebrate with loved ones and friends – not an excuse to overindulge and undo all that hard work you’ve put in this year. Give yourself the gift of good health… and who knows you may influence those around you to kick start their own health plan too!

Have a very happy and healthy holiday season.

If you are concerned about your or your child’s nutritional health and feel you would benefit from support from a Registered Dietitian please contact us at Island Nutrition on 295-4082 or at

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