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Yes, making healthy choices during the holidays is possible

Yes, making healthy choices during the holidays is possible

Was 2023 the year you managed to exercise consistently? Or maybe you finally got the hang of healthy mealtime choices. When you’ve put in the hard work to becoming a healthier version of yourself, the approach of holiday season can cause anxiety.

The good news: The temptations of the holidays don’t need to derail your success. Making healthy lifestyle choices during November and December can help ensure you feel your best when 2024 rolls around.

We recognize, though, that it’s easier said than done! Keep reading as our LCMC Health team offers some tips for staying healthy this holiday season.

Stick with healthy habits

If you need an extra reason to make healthy choices during the holidays, we have one! The holiday season happens to coincide with cold and flu season, which could more aptly be called “cold, flu, COVID-19, strep throat and RSV season.”

Practicing healthy habits during this time of year can help give your immune system a boost, which can help you steer clear of illness. Your best strategy for feeling your best and avoiding illness is to continue making good health choices.

Even as holiday events ramp up, stick with the tried-and-true habits that help keep you healthy year-round. Aim to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, eat nutrient-rich foods, get plenty of quality sleep and practice reducing stress.

The holiday season may not be the time to try to lose weight, but eating healthy foods and practicing other healthy habits can help you maintain good health and effectively manage heart disease or other health conditions.

Set yourself up for success

When the table at your family’s festive gathering is filled with savory delights and sweet treats, how can you possibly stick with healthy habits? How are you supposed to fit in regular exercise when your calendar is packed with events?

It all boils down to a little preparation. Put your workouts on the calendar, and don’t cancel on yourself! While you’re at it, set a schedule for sleep and downtime, too. Getting the right amount of rest will help you balance the chaos of the holidays.

If there’s a holiday event tonight that will include food, plan to have a small, balanced meal before attending the event. Include protein and fiber to help you feel full. At the party, you can still enjoy the offerings. Just make a healthier choice by filling your plate with fruits and vegetables, along with lean protein choices, such as cocktail shrimp.

Give yourself grace

Making healthy choices during the holidays doesn’t mean you have to give up the fun and good stuff. You may have heard the phrase “everything in moderation.”

That’s true when it comes to living a healthy life, but it’s especially true this time of year.

Enjoy dessert at your family’s Thanksgiving gathering but choose wisely. Instead of having ice cream that you could have at any time of the year, have a small slice of grandma’s secret recipe pecan pie.

Load up on the good stuff, then supplement with small servings of foods that are rich, indulgent or sweet. Most importantly, don’t feel guilty about your choices. Give yourself grace when your healthy habits slip, as long as you’re sticking with them most of the time.

Still haven’t had a checkup this year? Make these holidays even healthier by scheduling an appointment with a LCMC Health primary care provider.