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‘Tis the Season for Healthy Holiday Habits … Ho Ho Ho (Follow)

by Andrea Purcell

The average American gains seven pounds over the holiday season. This is mostly from overindulgence of high-fat, high-sugar, calorie-rich foods. However, there is a way to soak up the holiday festivities and good cheer without expanding your waistline; it just takes a bit of consciousness and preparation. Here are my seven tips for maintaining your health through the holidays and into the new year.

1. Eat before you go.

It’s easy to run errands all day and forget to eat. If you have a social event planned for the evening, it’s common to show up at cocktail hour famished. This is not a good plan. If you are going to a party, cocktail hour, wedding, or even a dinner, eat something before you go. Most gatherings start with appetizers and drinks. If you eat something before you go, like an apple, an avocado, a small salad, or even a light meal, then you won’t be tempted by the hors d’oeuvres. Plus, eating before you go ensures that you won’t be drinking on an empty stomach.

2. Watch alcohol consumption.

Calories from alcohol sneak up fast. Choose “skinny” calorie drinks and limit yourself by drinking a glass of water in between cocktails. It’s worthwhile to compare and contrast the calorie content of your favorite drinks beforehand. This creates awareness around consumption.

3. Drink water.

Did you know that your body often doesn’t know the difference between hunger and thirst? Perhaps you are thirsty. A glass of water will quench that thirst and fill you up. Water keeps you hydrated and naturally aids detoxification. Shoot for six to eight glasses daily.

4. Eat light.

If you know that you will be attending a big to-do later that day, then eat two well-balanced lighter meals for breakfast and lunch. This will help you stay within your calorie range and give you some wiggle room during your special occasion.

5. Have a purse supply.

If you are headed out the door for a marathon day of errands and shopping, be sure to stock your purse. I usually include dried figs, apple slices with squeezed lime in a baggie, a bottle of water, and a protein bar. This will keep you balanced and focused until you can get to your next meal. This prevents blood sugar crashes that can make you feel “hangry.” It also avoids last-minute impulse choices, like when you grab something off the shelf when you’re waiting in line. I’m a firm believer that when the purse supply is emptied, it’s time to go home.

6. Take polite bites and polite sips.

Feeling pressured to indulge? Graciously accept and take a “polite bite,” then mingle around and set the plate or drink down somewhere and pick up your glass of seltzer water. Most of the time I say something like, “Wow, that looks and smells delicious, but I’m not having any.” Then I move the attention away from me onto something else. However, if you are feeling uncomfortable, then the “polite bite” works just as well.

7. Maintain self-care.

It may be tempting to skip a workout or stay up late, but these things prevent you from feeling your best. Something small such as sticking with your regular sleep routine reduces sugar cravings. Similarly, taking a short walk or doing 20 minutes of cardio will boost your metabolism and allow the food you do eat to be burned effectively.


For more information, call Andrea Purcell, NMD, at 800-318-8582 or visit Purcell specializes in women's health, hormonal balance, medical nutrition, body detoxification, Prolozone joint therapy, and weight loss. She assists her patients by identifying and treating the underlying cause of disease. By looking at the whole body, emotions and diet, she creates a personalized path to optimal health.



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