Critiques

The Best Tips on How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

how to avoid weight gain and stay healthy during the holidays this year

The holidays are coming, and you know what that means. Even in this era of social distancing and face masks, there can still be opportunities for lots of holiday fun. And lots of temptation in the realm of food and drink. If you’re looking for some expert advice on how to balance it all, read on. Our correspondent Jillian Tangen went right to the source, and she’s sharing the best expert tips from her personal trainer on how to avoid unwanted weight gain and resist temptation while enjoying yourself so that you and yours can stay healthy during the holidays this year.

the holiday season is a wee bit challenging when it comes to healthy living

It all starts with Halloween.  And those seemingly harmless mini-sized Snickers bars by your front door that keep getting magically re-filled. 

Then comes Thanksgiving. With succulent roasted turkey filled with stuffing, endless side dishes and pumpkin pie with whipped cream to top it off. And don’t even get us started on those leftovers. It’s a proven fact that everything on Thanksgiving tastes even better the second day.

Join our community

For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. And see luxury in a new light.

sign up now >

Suddenly, it’s December. And your calendar is chock full of work parties, holiday parties, and the actual holidays themselves, featuring multiple-course meals with all the trimmings.

The wild months-long bacchanalia is topped off with a New Years celebration filled with dinner and drinks.

Couple all of that with all the excitement and anxiety that everyone feels during the holidays, and you may find that exercise and eating healthy may have gotten left off your to-do list between now and the end of the year. Perhaps without your even noticing.

how to avoid weight gain and stay healthy during the holidays this year

How to avoid unwanted weight gain and stay (reasonably) healthy during the holidays this year.

Suddenly, it’s December. And your calendar is chock full of Zoom cocktail parties, socially distanced holiday parties, and the actual holidays themselves, featuring multiple-course meals with all the trimmings. The wild months-long bacchanalia is topped off with a New Years celebration filled with dinner and drinks. 

Couple all of that with all the excitement and anxiety that everyone feels during the holidays – not to mention a little thing called Covid-19, and you may find that exercise and eating healthy may have gotten crossed off your to-do list between now and the end of the year. Perhaps without your even noticing.

Related Post

the top wellness trends of the year 2020

read more >

what to do to resist holiday temptations?

We’re not here to tell you not to enjoy the coming season and its holidays to the fullest – in fact we think you should. 

And you know very well that we will be doing our fair share of indulging over the next few months, so you are not alone. But how can we enjoy the season and still stay on a healthy track?

how to avoid weight gain and stay healthy during the holidays this yearLet’s ask an expert, shall we?

We spoke with NASM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Nutrition Specialist Jenni Morris for some expert tips to help you (and in all honesty – us) stay the course. 

With a little bit of planning and a whole lot of flexibility, you can maintain your workout program, eat healthy and feel your absolute best throughout the holidays.  After all, there’s nothing more boss-like than that, right? 

Instead of being completely naughty with your regimen, here are Jenni’s 10 top tips for staying healthy during the holidays.

Related Post

the top healthy eating trends of the year 2020

read more >

The Best Tips on How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

1. tips for a healthy holiday: get your goals in check – now.

According to Jenni, there are too many people who are working out without clear quantifiable goals in mind. As a result, during the holiday season they can easily gain 10-15 pounds. Prevent that unhealthy/unwanted weight gain by defining exactly you want to accomplish as an overall fitness goal. If your goal is to maintain your current weight, don’t wait until New Year’s Day to make it a priority.

holidays and staying healthy

How to stay healthy and avoid weight gain during the holidays this year: Goal Planner. Courtesy Photo.

Consider using an app like Todoist or putting pen to paper with a Savor Life Planner ($30) to keep yourself focused and accountable.  Studies show that writing your goals down not only forces you to get clear on what, exactly, it is that you want to accomplish, but also helps to motivate you to complete the tasks necessary for your success.  And by writing things down, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals.

2. tips for a healthy holiday: stay hydrated.

This tip may seem simple, but it’s easier said than done. Sometimes when we feel hungry, we’re actually just experiencing thirst. And it’s definitely the case that we often overlook the importance of hydration during the holiday season. The social pressure is to consume cocktails and sugary drinks at holiday events, not water.

holidays and staying healthy

Resisting temptation during the holidays this year: Staying Hydrated. Courtesy Photo.

When we’re even busier than usual going to and from appointments or are maintaining a busy work schedule, hydration is everything. The good news? There are LOTS of apps available to prompt us to drink enough water. It not only keeps our skin looking fresh, but also sends a message to our brains that we’re satiated.

It also helps if you invest in a cute reusable water bottle.  Among our favorites are the iconic drinking bottles ($35) from the Danish brand Eva Solo or the new XL Roamers ($55) from Swell made of BPA-free plastic and stainless steel. There’s also the Larq Self-Cleaning Water Bottle ($95) that uses a digital UV-C LED light to purify the water with a press of the button.

Related Post

the ultimate luxury gift guide: the best for fitness

read more >

3. tips for a healthy holiday: plan ahead for parties.

Again, another simple tip that is easy to imagine, but hard to execute. However, if you consistently remind yourself of your overall goals, it’s not as difficult.  For example, if you find yourself invited to a lot of (virtual) cocktail and dinner parties during the season, Jenni recommends eating a healthy meal before the event.

It’s a great technique to resist temptation at holiday time. If you show up hungry to a cocktail party, you might find yourself easily tempted by the unhealthier options.  Also, if you’re really dying to try a new dessert, or something indulgent – have a small size portion. It may help you calm those cravings if you don’t completely restrict yourself.  Just be mindful not to overdo it.

4. tips for a healthy holiday: BYOF (bring your own food).

A great practical suggestion for how to resist temptation at holiday time? When invited to a gathering, bring your own healthy dish! Jenni always brings a homemade edamame hummus and veggie platter.  That way if she feels like snacking, she knows there’ll be a healthy choice close at hand.

5. tips for a healthy holiday: avoid excessive alcohol intake

Set a drink limit for yourself. Jenni suggests a 3 drink maximum.  That way, you can still have a good time without overindulging.  She recommends any clear alcohol, including champagne or white wine.  One of our new favorites is Bev’s canned zero sugar Sauvignon Blanc (8 for $49).  It’s made with no added sugar and is sweetened naturally with green apple, white nectarine and citrus.  

holidays and staying healthy

Resisting temptation during the holidays this year: California Sauvignon Blanc. Courtesy Photo.

Most clear alcohols, like vodka, gin and tequila, have only 100 calories per ounce and when mixed with club soda make a great low cal choice.  And it should go without saying that you should always pair one alcoholic drink with one glass of water. Alternatively there are tons of new no and low alcohol drink options to try.

Related Post

what are the best hangover cures that actually work?

read more >

6. expert tips for a healthy holiday: prioritize your workouts.

Jenni recommends working out in the morning during the holiday season. She tells her clients to book a few classes out for the week and put them directly on their schedules that way you know you have to go.  Plus, by having your workout done early in the day, you will be able to prevent the chance of skipping later when most office holiday parties or last minute invites are happening.

avoid holiday weight gain

How to stay healthy and avoid weight gain during the holidays this year: Workout Equipment. Courtesy Photo.

Not ready to head into the gym just yet?  There’s a slew of luxury compact and portable workout equipment options on the market right now including Fit Simplify’s Resistance Loop Bands ($22) and these shiny and sleek UBarre Weights ($149-179) from Equip Movement – they’re almost too pretty to put away.

7. expert tips for a healthy holiday: try high intensity interval training.

Since the holiday season is a busy time, you may find that you don’t have as much time as you’d like to workout. Jenni recommends adding some HIIT training into your routine for a shorter but just as effective punch.  HIIT workouts are highly effective and burn over 200 calories in just 20-25 minutes!

8. expert tips for a healthy holiday: keep moving.

A tired but true rule of thumb to keep in mind, particularly as the weather gets a little colder, is to walk more. Try parking your car in the furthest parking spot and always take the stairs.  Movements like this, make a small but meaningful impact on your overall health.  If you have a smart watch or tracker like Apple’s Series 7 Watch (From $399), set a step goal for yourself everyday.  The minimum should be 10,000+ steps per day.

One of our friends swears by an app called Fitcoin as a way to motivate yourself to get 10,000 or more steps in each day. Each time you reach a milestone of a certain number of days in a row at 10,000 steps or more, you earn Bitcoin that’s yours to keep. Or you can donate it to a charity (which is what our friend does). Fitness tech is getting better all the time!

Related Post

the best luxury workout equipment for a compact space

read more >

9. expert tips for a healthy holiday: everything in moderation.

We all know how much is too much. That being said, if you really are craving a cookie, have a cookie, but moderation is everything.  Jenni is a big proponent of the 80/20 rule – eat healthy 80% of the time and 20% of the time, indulge. So if you know you’re going to eat a large meal with family and friends later in the day, eat as healthy as you can earlier in the day.

10. expert tips for a healthy holiday: practice self care.

Holidays are one of the most stressful times of the year. And stress raises your cortisol levels, which may make you feel sluggish or worse, can cause unexpected weight gain. So make sure you take time for yourself to reduce stress.

resist temptation at holiday time

How to stay healthy and avoid weight gain during the holidays this year: Self Care. Courtesy Photo.

Whether it’s a fresh manicure, a restorative yoga class, a sweet little CBD treat like the Hemp Derived CBD Gumdrops ($35) from Lord Jones or a full on DIY home facial with a Dr. Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer ($149). You don’t need to tell us twice to treat ourselves!

how to have a healthy holiday season this year

That’s it – expert advice straight from someone who knows what she’s talking about. The only tip we’d add is that having a good friend or family member who is also trying to stay healthy will definitely help you stay on track.

A “buddy system” is a great way to motivate yourself on those days when you’re just not feeling it, and avoid gaining that dreaded holiday weight. To help resist temptation at holiday time, your pal can coax you into doing what you know you should be doing, and vice versa. Or talk you out of that second piece of pumpkin pie! Sometimes, like the song says, it takes two to make things go right.

So, are you in? Do you have any hacks to share that we may have missed? We hope these tips help you to have a healthy and happy holiday season ahead!

join our community

For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.

Jillian Tangen is the Head of Research at Dandelion Chandelier. Formerly, she was a Senior Research Analyst at McKinsey & Co and Analyst at Shearman & Sterling. She is an avid fan of Nordic design, having owned an independent lifestyle store and sales agency focused on emerging Scandinavian design. Jillian lives in NYC and is married with three young children. She loves cross country skiing, the New York Rangers, reading, travel and discovering new brands.

Forward This Article

Join our community

For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. And see luxury in a new light.

sign up now >