By Emily Smith, Registered and Licensed Dietitian 

To have a less stressful and more joyful holiday season, focus on these four tips that will allow you to feel mentally and physically your best. No extreme diets, food restrictions, guilt, or calorie counting involved!

Keep up your workout routine

The holidays are such a whirl-wind time, full of events and gatherings with family and friends, that it can be easy to find yourself RSVP’ing “yes” to another Chrismukkah party and putting your workouts on the back burner. Be sure to pencil in your workouts just like you would your holiday parties. It will give you endorphins to keep spreading Christmas Cheer and a rosy glow that even Santa would be jealous of.

Prioritize sleep

Thanks to our busy lives and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be a challenge to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Did you know that not getting enough sleep can affect your eating habits?  Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can lead to impaired judgement, increased calorie intake, and weight gain. Make sleep a priority so that you’re feeling your best, are able to make wiser food decisions, and you are more energized to get all of those gifts wrapped and under the tree.

Don’t skip meals

Don’t skip breakfast in the morning in order to “save calories” for use at a holiday party later. Studies show that eating breakfast may lead to less impulsive snacking and eating less at later meals.  By not skipping meals you will be able to make smarter food choices at holiday parties and trust me, everyone will be glad when you don’t show up hangry.

Let go of the guilt

It’s time to stop feeling guilty about food and start letting yourself enjoy it. Listen to your body – eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full… and nothing is off limits. When a food is considered “off-limits,” it becomes that much more desirable.  Focus on practicing mindful eating, enjoying small portions, and taking time to savor every bite this holiday season.

Now that you’ve read the list of tips, and maybe checked it twice (Santa, are you reading?!), you’ll be ready to head into the holiday season and enjoy every moment!  


About the Series
The YPAL Healthcare Blog Series, sponsored by Norton Healthcare, is part of the new Healthy YP Initiative, which will focus on the health and well-being of our Louisville Young Professionals. This blog series will feature various young professional bloggers in our community sharing their stories on health, wellness, nutrition, fitness and healthy lifestyles.

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