Create Healthy Habits for Holiday Traditions

Let the turkey carving countdown begin! With Thanksgiving less than a day away, many of us are already naming our “food baby,” or envisioning the “food coma” that extra helping of mashed potatoes will bring. Yes, it’s the holiday known for overeating.

We have heard the various tips to have a “healthier” thanksgiving— use smaller plates, wear tight fitting clothing, go for a walk the day of, and so on. Being mindful of what we eat during the holidays is important, but it shouldn’t be an obsession or the focus of every meal. Finding a balance of foods that nourish the body as well as the soul is key to having an all-inclusive holiday.

Here is my own personal approach to having a well-balanced Thanksgiving (and any other food-centered holiday!):

  1. I exercise the morning of- Sometimes it’s a high-intensity fitness class, sometimes it’s a 15 minute ab workout on a app, regardless, I find a way to get my body moving. This not only energizes me for the day but also rids me of being antsy later in the day. There year I will be participating in a Turkey Trot 5K with many of my co-workers!
  2. I allow myself to try a little bit of everything- Healthy or not, as an RD I love trying new foods! I also never like feeling as if I missed out on a dish aka Food FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Having a plate of a variety of foods helps me curB all cravings and feel satisfied.
  3. I find entertainment away from the food- The holidays should be more about friends and family then food so I focus my attention on that. I find relative I haven’t seen in awhile to talk to or get a group together to play a card game (Euchre anyone?!) This helps me to spend time with those matter most rather than at the dessert table!

My advice… find 1 or 2 healthy habits you can incorporate into your holidays. Make sure they are realistic, write them down, and even share them with your friends and family (it will help hold you accountable!) Trying to do too many healthy changes at once can leave you feeling deprived, stressed or overwhelmed. It may even cause you to develop an unhealthy relationship with food resulting in things like binge eating or avoiding holiday gatherings all together.

Do you have “healthy traditions” to keep you eating right through the holidays? If so, we’d love to hear them… comment below!

This thanksgiving let us be grateful for friends, family and of course, food!

Gobble Gobble!


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