How to Have a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season

Christmas new year dinner group concept

Written by Anthea Noel, RN

Notice your pants feeling tighter these days? With so many holidays revolving around food this season, it can be tricky trying to keep the pounds at bay. Now that December is in full swing, how are you doing? By keeping portion control and physical activity in mind, you can leave the holiday parties (mostly) unscathed. We are not yet out of the woods as we embark on celebrations full of delectable delights and seasonal treats. But there are some surefire ways to stay healthy during these festive months.

Cut Back on Sugar

Monitor your sugar intake. Although we need sugar for energy, too much sugar can be harmful. Opt for natural sugar that is found in fresh fruit and whole grains. Do not deprive yourself of that candy cane or that special cake grandma bakes for the holiday season, just watch your portions and balance it with a healthy side of berries.

Avoid Overeating

The holiday parties are in full effect, which means an overabundance of food. One way to avoid bingeing on rich foods is to eat a sensible meal before you head out. When you starve yourself in anticipation of eating at a party, you will end up losing self-control at the first sight of tasty treats.

Move, Move, and Move Some More

Take the stairs instead of taking an elevator. Dance to your favorite song. Ride a bicycle. Take up a new hobby like ice skating. These are just a few ways to increase your physical activity during the holiday season. Your heart will love you for it!

Create an Eating Plan

If you have a holiday party at work during the day and a dinner party with the family at night, plan it out. Have a slice of that apple pie at school and skip the sweets later that day. You can’t have it all but you can enjoy your favorite treats and be smart about it. Keeping a food log also helps you stay aware of what types of food you’re eating, how many calories you’re consuming, and what kinds of eating patterns you have.

Anthea “Nurse Noel” Noel RN, BSN, MS, SANE, has comforted and placed smiles on the faces of her patients and their families for over 20 years as a professional registered nurse. As a writer for over 22 years in the entertainment industry, she has successfully entertained through television, music, and the big screen. Anthea merged her two loves of health and entertainment after she was encouraged to do so following the death of her fiance and Nurse Noel was born. In her journey through the health entertainment world, Nurse Noel was able to serve as a writer for various magazines as well as bringing health to television with style and flair as an on-air and red carpet health expert. Nurse Noel recently penned a book “Help Me to Help You While I Help Myself in the Process” where she continues to spread the message of health and wellness to the masses. She is the senior staff writer for Heart and Soul magazine, Fit Box, Cassiuslife, O Magazine, contributor for The Dr. Oz Show, and Health Corps. Nurse Noel continues to work as a registered nurse in the fast-paced high-intensity department of the intensive care unit at the Level 1 trauma center UMDNJ Hospital in Newark, NJ. Noel also works for the district attorney for Essex County as a sexual assault nurse examiner assisting in forensic nursing for sexual assault survivors. Nurse Noel is determined to help those in need with a goal of making this world healthier and happier one person at a time.