Healthy Holiday Habits



By Danielle James

According to, the average person will consume between 2000 and 2500 calories a day during the holiday season. A survey conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture concluded that people, on average, consume 1,700 calories a day throughout the rest of the year. That’s a daily holiday surplus of up to 800 calories.


How can you still enjoy all your favorite holiday foods without having to buy a whole new wardrobe of bigger sizes when you get back from winter break? Lorie Eber, a wellness coach based in Irvine, shared some of her tips for staying healthy during the holidays without feeling deprived.


“When people skip meals, they feel the need to reward themselves with goodies that they normally don’t eat since they’ve been fasting all day," said Eber.


Eber took an early retirement from her law career to pursue her real passion: health and fitness. She returned to college to study gerontology, the study of aging, which she now teaches at the University of Laverne and Coastline Community College. She is a published author and certified personal trainer, but most importantly, possesses a unique passion for helping others get fit and improve their quality of life.


At holiday parties

  • Eat a healthy snack such as an apple or handful of almonds before you go. You’ll be less tempted to pig out on goodies when there’s something in your stomach beforehand.
  • Look at everything offered in a buffet line before even picking up your plate. Then start with the veggies, stick to lean meat, and save space on the plate for only one or two special treats.
  • If you choose to drink, drink one glass of alcohol followed by one full glass of water. Sip on that glass over the course of one hour before grabbing another drink.
  • After hosting parties, give the food away or throw it in the trash. If it’s in the fridge, you will be tempted to eat it.


In your daily life

  • Get plenty of rest. Your hunger reflex doesn’t reset when you’re tired, causing you to overeat.
  • Don’t skip meals even if you’re anticipating a Thanksgiving feast. Still eat balanced meals throughout the day so you aren’t tempted to eat the entire buffet on an empty stomach.
  • Don’t be super strict with yourself. It will eventually backfire. Treat yourself, but don’t overdo it. Maintaining a healthy diet allows you to have a little extra at all the parties and festivities you’ll be attending over the next month.
  • After you eat, take a walk to help with digestion.


“Exercise ‘snacks’ are the new norm," said Eber. "Studies have found that shorter snippets of exercise are actually more affective than two hour long gym sessions. Schedule exercise into your daily routine like you would a doctor’s appointment so you always get some sort of physical activity in your day.”


The holidays can be a stressful time for many people. What with all the parties, gifts, seeing family you haven’t seen in awhile, and driving more frequently, people can get cranky and rude.


Avoid this by picking a method of stress relief that you have found works for you and scheduling it in your schedule on your smart phone. Taking ten to fifteen minutes a day to just be by yourself will lessen the stress of the holidays and make your break much more enjoyable.


“I always make sure to eat a good breakfast before 9 am when I’m home that way I don’t starve myself or go for long periods of time without eating," said Kellie Carlson, a student at UCLA.


Eber said the best thing is just to not overschedule yourself.


“Know what you can and cannot handle. You don’t have to go to every party that you are invited to,” said Eber.

By keeping these helpful tips in mind, you can have a healthy holiday season, prevent illness, and come back from winter break feeling refreshed and ready to take on the next semester.

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