Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season


Weekend parties, holiday meals with family, friends, and co-workers, and gifts of food can be overwhelming from Thanksgiving to the New Year. In fact, the holidays can challenge the most health conscious of individuals and their plans to eat healthy and remain physically active. That’s why it’s important for all of us to keep a planned commitment to be physically active and moderate when making our food selections at the front of our thoughts. Doing so can minimize the risks related to future or existing health concerns.

Plan to Eat Smart

  • Don’t skip meals to try to make up for the extra calories you’re going to eat. You’ll end up being so hungry that you’ll most likely binge on unhealthy foods.
  • At a holiday buffet of food offerings, fill half your plate with veggies, a quarter with a starch such as a scoop of cornbread dressing, and a quarter with a lean meat or fish. Watch out for oversized plates. Your plate should be 9 inches across. Choose one or two (bite-size) desserts you truly love and skip the others. A small taste of something delectable might be all you need to satisfy a craving.
  • For those gatherings that require you to bring a dish make sure it’s a healthy one that you and others can enjoy.

Plan to Exercise

  • Don’t let your fitness routine slide. Commit to a fitness streak during the holidays. Log at least one mile or so many walking steps through the New Year. Doing so will keep you accountable and work in your favor to prevent excuses. Brag about your fitness streak on your favorite social media sites with the hashtag #MyFitnessStreak. For some great information about walking steps, check out
  • Since the holidays are a time for family. Plan to go walking or running together on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and/or New Year’s Day. Wearing holiday hats during a walk or run is a great way to enjoy one another and spread holiday cheer.
  • If just by chance you are nurturing a desire to become a runner in 2016, you should consider participating in a holiday walk/run event.


No one can be perfect during the holidays. So indulge – in moderation. And, if you overindulge and triple up on desserts one day, don’t beat yourself up. Just start fresh the next day. Always remember, every day is a new beginning for healthy living.

With so much emphasis on eating healthier and physical ability, the holiday season is a great time to examine your lifestyle habits in preparation for the New Year. When you consider our spiritual and physical condition, the Lord desires order in both areas. I’m always reminded that if our physical condition is not properly cared for, it will affect our spiritual condition. We cannot serve the Lord to the fullest extent if our bodies are neglected and exhausted and not functioning as God designed them to function. So, this holiday season, I would like to encourage the GT Readers to make a commitment and plan to eat healthy and engage in some form of physical activity. With regards to eating, moderation should be your guide.

As you prepare to head into 2016, I would to encourage the GT Readers to keep this scripture pinned in your thoughts, “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand,” (Phil. 4:5).

Bridgette L. Collins

AFAA-certified personal trainer and RRCA-certified running coach Bridgette L. Collins is the author of Broken In Plain Sight, Destined to Live Healthier: Mind, Body, and Soul and Imagine Living Healthier: Mind, Body, and Soul. She is also the owner of Total Innovative Wellness Solutions, LLC., a consulting firm that provides individuals and organizations with strategic solutions for implementing and sustaining healthy lifestyle habits. She has been an avid runner for more than 20 years participating in a plethora of endurance race events (from 5Ks to marathons). Learn more about Coach Collins at

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