5 Foolproof Tips to Survive the Holidays

by Jimmy Sévigny, motivational speaker and personal coach focusing on healthy habits for a healthy lifestyle


Even though we don’t have snow yet, shopping malls are much busier than usual and Christmas music is omnipresent, telling us that the Holiday Season has begun. The holidays can also rhyme with excess and a surprise on the scale comes January 2nd. While this time of year should, in theory, be a time of rejoicing, it can also be a real nightmare for some people.

Why is it so hard to go through the Holidays without feeling some guilt? The answer can very well be found between our ears. Here are 5 foolproof tips that help me keep a good morale and, especially, my waistline intact during this merry season.

1) Set limits for yourself

You know, there’s nothing wrong with eating a bit of everything during the Holidays. However, it is important to dose properly. If you fill your plate 2, 3 or even 4 times at every festive occasion, this will cause you a lot of problems. Before you serve yourself a plate, have a chat with yourself. This will help you better control what you put on that plate.

2) Moderation tastes better

If you have the habit of drinking quite a bit between December 24th and January 2nd, be aware that alcohol stimulates appetite. Have you noticed how food has a more pronounced taste when eaten after a few glasses of alcohol? Also, alcohol acts as a willpower inhibitor. After a few drinks, good resolutions are often forgotten. Finally, know that each gram of alcohol contains 7 calories. If you want to feel an effect while minimizing weight gain, choose wine over classic cocktails (strong drink + juice).

3) Count sheep!

Even though parties often end very late, it is more than important to take the time to sleep. If you didn't have enough sleep the night before a party, consider taking a nap during the day: this could save you from consuming an excessive amount of calories during the day or evening. Indeed, research has shown that people who lacked sleep tended to compensate for this with food to give themselves a quick boost of energy.

4) Recharge your battery

I know I won’t be popular suggesting this, but every time you get a chance, move around! I can hear you think: "Yes, but it's hard, we have company" or "Yeah, right! I’m not going to take a walk on Christmas day!" But whether it's December 24th or May 3rd, this makes no difference to your body. I guarantee you that as little as 15 minutes of moderate physical activity can give you a boost of energy and get you back on the right track. Also, if you can, do this activity outdoors. Not only will it invigorate you, it will get some fresh air into your lungs.

5) Inch by inch

Take things one day at a time. You know how you can feel after two days of partying, when there was a lot of excess. We tell ourselves: "My week is ruined. I cheated too much. Too bad!" I've been there and, honestly, we can’t change the past, but we can act on the present and plan for the future. Even if you've crossed the line for a few days, it doesn’t matter. Learn to negotiate with yourself by telling yourself: "That’s enough. I’m taking back control of my lifestyle right now!"

In my name and that of Action Sport Physio, I want to wish you Happy Holidays and to be in good health in 2016, because without health, we can’t go very far! :)