Holiday Survival Guide

Courtney Budd, MSPT, CSCS
Supervisor of Physical Therapy
Cooper Bone and Joint Institute

Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season and a time of excess – it becomes difficult to maintain our healthy routines and we have increased exposure to extra high- calorie food and drink. This combination could leave you with an extra 5- to 10- pounds by January. So how to minimize the damage? We’ve put together some tips to keep it to a minimum.

Follow these recommendations for a happy and healthy holiday season:

  • Eat a light to normal breakfast and lunch. Don’t try and save your calories for later in the day. Starving yourself for the big feast will ultimately lead to more calories and poor food choices.
  • Eat what you want but cut your portions in half. Don’t deprive yourself of holiday delights. However, by watching your portion size you will be able to enjoy while minimizing negative impact.
  • Consider creating healthy alternatives to traditional side dishes.
  • Use smaller plates to help manage portion size.
  • Try and eat slowly. After 20 minutes you will start to feel fullness.
  • Keep hydrated. Drinking water will help keep you healthy and also help manage feelings of hunger.
  • If you are going to imbibe, choose the drinks without the high sugar or cream content. Light beer, drinks mixed with water or club soda, or wine spritzers are healthier options.
  • Make time for exercise. – Exercise is the best way to combat the bulge. It will burn calories, rev up your metabolism and aid indigestion.
  • Sleep at least 8 hours. Normal sleep is extremely important for weight management.

Enjoy yourself this holiday. Do your best to make healthy choices. And above all, keep exercising!

Happy Holidays from our Cooper Bone and Joint Institute family

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