Holiday Survival Tips

By Unite Fitness Retreat Dietician, Brooke Bouwhuis

Lights, parties, chilly weather, fires, turkey, pie, decorations, friends and family.  Love the holidays!  Sadness, loneliness, fights, baggage, grudges, pain, guilt and temptation.  Skip the holiday’s please!  Whatever camp you are in this time of year the holidays are coming. This post is to help you get into a healthy mindset to help tackle the challenges ahead.  It’s no secret that this is the time of year when calories come in droves; butter, sugar, candies, chocolates, beverages and more sugar.

Let’s simply begin at the beginning as we tackle this time of year with our favorite fitness camp holiday pointers:

  • Set an intention each day identifying your focus.  Write it on a sticky note and put it in your lunch box, on your microwave or refrigerator door. Making a daily plan to stay focused doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the holiday’s, it means you approach them with a plan.
  • Let’s begin this season with a few ground rules. #1 Enjoy your favorite foods #2 Do only what you want to do that brings you closer to the people you love.
  • Did you know it’s ok to say “No, thanks” and not have to have any explanation beyond “No”?  This puts you in the driver’s seat emotionally, mentally and physically and can be applied to food scenarios as well as social situations.
  • Sticking to your game plan doesn’t mean a season of willpower busting choices.  Intentionally enjoy your favorites and be mindful of portion sizes.
  • Skipping meals to save calories for a big feast is a surefire way to see our belt buckles move in the wrong direction.  Often we see it as a free pass to overeat which results in thoughts heavy with guilt.  We don’t have time for guilt.  Guilt happens when crimes are committed not when food is consumed!
  • Small frequent meals and snacks even during the holidays will keep your blood sugar steady.  Eating healthy fats and plenty of protein will help you stay satisfied.  When we are satisfied, we crave less and when we crave less, we make better choices.  Even during the holidays.
  • Eat slowly and mindfully, tasting and enjoying the flavors of the season.  Remember it takes out noggin 20 minutes to realize our stomach full. Stopping at full rather than bursting is an excellent approach.
  • You know that liquid calories add up fast and swallow easy.  If you are enjoying beverages do it among friends, do it with food and be mindful and intentional about what you consume.
  • Are treats piling up at work from vendors and co-workers?  Some are tasty and worth every bite while others are not that great but we pick at them anyway.  Keep them away from your immediate area. Enjoying a few things that are awesome is reasonable. BUT make a rule to write down on a sticky note what treats you eat before you eat them.  It will help to see how much you are really picking at and help you decide if it’s worth it or not.
  • Move, move, move – small 10-minute bursts ad up if you can’t make it to the gym.  Walk extra flights of stairs, park in the back of the parking lot at work and any store you are headed into. Take an extra lap or two around the mall before heading home.  Consider creating a new tradition of going on a walk or a hike with family or friends after the big meal.


Whatever holiday’s you are celebrating do it with friends and family, enjoy foods you love that you only see on special occasions and do it with intention while building relationships with those you are around.

Happy Holidays,