This post first ran on my old blog onbalance in 2009. Hard to believe it’s been EIGHT YEARS since then. But you know what? When advice is solid, it lasts. I’ve updated the post a bit with some new tips to help you stay healthy and balanced through the holidays.

holiday party survival guide


It’s that time of year– we’re in the thick of holiday events, parties, and rushing around. Like anyone else, I look forward to these festivities of the season (and the bounty of yummy treats that go with them).

But how can you still make merry without sabotaging your wellness plan?

Holiday Season Survival Guide 2017

1. Have a fitness plan!

This is good advice any time of year, but it’s crucial when your calendar is more packed than normal.

Start by scheduling your workouts for the week on the weekend prior. You are your most important appointment!

Study your calendar for all of those school performances, parent nights, and all of the other special events that have inserted themselves into your regular routine. Then block out the time for your workouts, so that you know you’ll have positive energy going for you.

If you’re an outdoor exerciser, take a look at the weather forecast so you can plan accordingly. It’s never fun to wake up early for a workout only to find the weather isn’t cooperative!

2. Have an idea of what your favorite treats will ‘cost’ you.

Using a calorie calculator, you’ll give yourself a good idea of how many calories you’ll eat by noshing on all those party treats. Go one step further and figure out what kind of exercise you’ll need to do to burn those calories by using an activity calculator.

If you do the math ahead of time, it’s easier to resist the lure of All The Treats and focus on only that which you find calorically worth it!

3. Eat before you party.

The best way to make sure you don’t overdo it is to fill up on healthy food (carrots, celery, brown rice and beans) before you head to the party. Drinking water on the way to the party will also help satiate you.

Using these strategies will help you not only eat less, but you’ll have more time to focus on chatting with friends. Isn’t that the real focus of the party anyway?!

4. Set a One Drink limit.

I must admit that, as a nondrinker, this one is easy for me. But I fully recognize it isn’t so easy for others.

But once you know how many calories are in your favorite lovely beverage, suddenly sparkling water with a twist of citrus (or festive pomegranate or cranberry juice) may seem quite appealing.

Also, by setting a one drink limit you’re creating a greater likelihood of sticking with your fitness plan and not getting sidetracked thanks to a hangover or dehydration.

5. Focus on the Positives.

By turning the focus of the party to your friends and socializing (and away from food and drink), you can share your wellness triumphs with those who care about you. They will likely want to know about your positive life changes, so feel the pride and confidently tell them about the healthy, happy new you.

That kind of feeling can’t be recreated, not even from the best magnum of champagne and sweetest treat in the world.

6. Create Active Traditions

Adults aren’t the only ones faced with lots of tempting goodies during the holiday season. It’s the season of sugar for kids, too!

Ensure that your kids are getting plenty of exercise by creating active traditions for your family. Take a walk to look at a light display or stage your own neighborhood Jingle Bell Run. You can create community without hot cocoa!

Use this holiday season survival guide to remember that your wellness is worth a lot! Now go on out there and enjoy yourself!

Survive the holiday season with these great tips!