5 Surprising Tips for a Healthy Holiday

Slice of chocolate cake

Halloween is just around the corner and from there the holidays come at us like a runaway train – Thanksgiving, holiday parties, Christmas, New Years … ahhhhh! 

So how do you avoid unhealthy habits and extra holiday pounds that can come with the holidays, while still enjoying the holidays?!?!? We have some ideas from our talented wellness team here at the YMCA.

Here are their tips and tricks to get you through the holiday gauntlet.


  1. Be mindful. Instead of eating one treat and then another because it was SO good – think about what you are eating and enjoy it the first time. In other words, slow down and be one with your cheesecake! Did you know the first bite of anything you eat always tastes the best?! –Laura Schofield Pierson, Associate Executive Director, West Chester Area YMCA and accredited Personal Trainer
  2. Plan ahead. If you know you are heading to a party in the evening, have a healthy snack before you go. Walking into a party hungry and thirsty can lead to binge eating and drinking–the snack will take the edge off and help you make better choices.
  3. Bring what you eat. Be the one to bring the veggie tray or salad to the party. Double-bonus, you are helping your hostess and guaranteeing that there will be something nutritious to eat. – Amanda Kender, Advanced Director of Healthy Living, Kennett Area YMCA 
  4. Water. Have the sugary drink or cocktail you are craving, but follow it up with water (every time!). Enjoy your favorite holiday treats, but again, follow up with water. Eating vegetables and drinking water will keep you nourished and less hungry for the holiday treats.
  5. Think positive. What?!?! Research shows a healthy and positive attitude helps build a healthier immune system and boosts overall health, so forget the stress - think positive and focus on gratitude. –Ashley Cabry, Wellness Director, Lionville Community YMCA


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