Healthy for the Holidays

Healthy for the Holidays

The holidays are a beautiful time of year filled with family, celebration, gifts and of course, food. In order to stay happy and healthy while enjoying the season, we’re sharing tips on how to keep stress levels down and maintain a smaller waistline!

Many people associate Thanksgiving with unhealthy casseroles and pies, which is typically true. However, don’t let this get you down. The Tallahassee Memorial Bariatric Center is dishing out suggestions on how to avoid even the tastiest holiday temptations.

Katie Snyder, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator at the Tallahassee Memorial Bariatric Center, recommends planning ahead and keeping portion control in mind before you sit down at the table with friends and family.

“I always tell my patients that a treat here and there won’t hurt you, but you may need to be more active and increase your steps to help offset calories,” said Snyder. “It’s especially important to plan ahead for special items like desserts. Decide how much and what type of dessert you want to eat, so you don’t over indulge.”

Making smart choices for the holidays can be much easier than you think.

“Just stay simple and make easy ingredient swaps when cooking. Another suggestion is to try using a smaller plate, which will allow for less food and encourage sensible portions,” said Amy Jacobs, Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator at the Tallahassee Memorial Bariatric Center.

For some, other holidays like Christmas or Hanukkah may be the trigger for additional stress. For others, hosting friends or family and purchasing gifts could lead to anxiety.

Either way, in any household, it’s important to keep stress levels down. Stress can lead to emotional eating, aches and pains, poor judgment, nausea, lack of sleep or a decreased immune system.

“Holiday stress can take all the fun out of our celebrations,” said Melvina MacDonald,
a licensed mental health professional at the Tallahassee Memorial Behavioral Health Center and Director of the Tallahassee Memorial Employee Assistance Program. “If the thought of upcoming holidays fill you with dread, you are not alone. Some of the tips I find helpful start with setting realistic expectations. We all have a picture of what we think the holidays “should be” and our expectations are rarely met. It is important to understand that things are not going to go perfectly and that is okay, just remember the importance of enjoying the moment, regardless of what happens.”

You’ve almost made it through the season but you can’t forget about New Years! The holiday that is notoriously known for making health-conscious resolutions... is ironically also one that can pack on the calories with alcohol.

“Rotate cocktails with water, this will help you to stay hydrated and cut calories, said Jacobs. “Beverages that consist of high fat and sugar that you should avoid include eggnog and punch.”

No matter what holiday you choose to celebrate, remember the true reason for the season and most importantly, stay healthy.

TOP 10 Resolutions – Looking for a realistic resolution that is easy enough to actually keep? Here are our top 10 favorites. 

  • Sit less and stand more
  • Stop late night snacking
  • Swap soda for water or green tea
  • Take the stairs
  • Choose organic when possible
  • Pick a new, healthy hobby
  • Stay organized and clear the clutter
  • Eat in more than you eat out – save calories and money
  • Be early instead of late
  • Choose to be positive


Tallahassee Memorial Bariatric Center

Tallahassee Memorial Behavioral Health Center

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