We’re sharing healthy holiday tips we learned from Noom to help you stay on track with your wellness goals this holiday season. My husband, Steve, and I downloaded the Noom weight loos app in March 2019 and lost a combined 200 pounds.
While end-of-year parties, family celebrations, and holiday baking can easily throw us off track, we learned they don’t have to. If the holidays are a tough time for you, try these tips for staying where you want to be on your healthy living or weight loss journey.
Plan ahead for a healthy holiday on Noom
One of the best tips for healthy holidays on Noom is to plan ahead. While planning ahead takes a little time and effort, the result has always been worth it for us. We’ve found staying on track to be easier if we create a plan ahead of time. For instance, if you have a holiday party Friday night, plan to eat foods that are especially low in calorie density for breakfast and lunch that day.
Save your orange foods (higher calorie-dense foods) for the party and enjoy every bite guilt-free!
Offer to bring a low calorie dense dish
Also, if you’re asked to bring a dish to a gathering, bring something you love that is nutritious and lower calorie. I often volunteer to bring my favorite spinach and pear salad. It is low-calorie, looks festive, and tastes great. Then, at the party, I know I’ll have something to add to my plate that won’t throw me off track.
Have a bite to eat before you go
Hear us out on this one: we often have a small bite to eat at home before the gathering. Prior to heading out to that holiday party with lots of tempting foods, have a bowl of a low-calorie, broth based soup or a piece of fruit. If you’re not so hungry when you get to the party, you’ll be less tempted to eat all off the food arrayed before you.
Enjoy your favorite things without the guilt
Prioritizing our favorite things helps us stay within our daily calorie budget (or at least close). We both love Ann’s mom’s deviled eggs at the holidays, so we make space in our calorie budgets and enjoy them guilt-free.
Think about what holiday treats you enjoy most and make plans early to have and enjoy them! Remember, if you want to lose or maintain weight, you can’t have everything you want all the time. But you certainly can have some of the things you desire some of the time–even if they have fat or carbs.
Sure, the pecan covered cheese ball is tasty – but it’s not my absolute favorite. So, I’ll pass on the crackers and cheese but will enjoy a piece of the chocolate pie I love.
Moving more is a healthy holiday tip we learned from Noom
Adding more movement to your day not only burns a few calories, it can also help reduce the stress of the holiday season.
Try to do more in-person shopping this year, instead of ordering everything online. Park farther away from the store or do a few laps at your local mall. Head outside for a winter hike or hop on the treadmill while you watch a Hallmark Christmas movie.
When attending the annual office party or social gathering, choose to stand instead of sit and move around the room while greeting more people.
Watching what you drink is a healthy holiday tip for Noomers
Too much holiday cheer can add extra calories quickly. Be mindful of what and how many alcoholic drinks you’re consuming. It has also helped us (even outside of the holiday season) to have a glass of water in between cocktails. We also try to stick to lower-calorie drinks like a glass of red wine (125 calories), rum and diet soda (100), or champagne (90).
Watch out for higher-calorie ingredients in cocktails like pre-packaged fruit juices, simple syrup, cream, or sugar. Garnishes like bacon and maraschino cherries can also add many calories. And a salt rim will add tons of sodium (and water weight) quickly.
Pro tip: Ask the bartender to omit the simple syrup and use a zero calorie sweetener (Truvia, Splenda, Stevia), instead.
Communicate with family and friends
Feeling pressured to eat the huge piece of chocolate pie covered in heavy whipping cream that your aunt hands you?
Help alleviate the pressure and guilt by communicating with family and friends ahead of time. Let them know in advance that you’re trying to lose or maintain weight and would love their support and encouragement. Make sure they understand that it’s not that you don’t enjoy their cooking, but that you’re working hard to take care of yourself and meet your wellness goals.
Offer to bring some healthier options to family gatherings. When others help make it easier for you, be sure to thank them and let them know how much you appreciate their support.
Don’t make food the only focus
While food is a big part of most holiday traditions, you can also incorporate non-food traditions, as well. Here are a few ideas:
- Play games
- Drive around and look at Christmas lights
- Watch a holiday movie
- Exchange white elephant gifts
- Go caroling
- Play cards
- Have a dance or karaoke party
- Work on a puzzle
I’ve found great pleasure in setting a pretty table for holiday gatherings. Changing my focus from eating to decorating for special events has helped me stay on track with my Noom goals.
Take care of yourself
Above all this holiday season, give yourself some grace. This is often a busy time of year, so don’t forget to take care of yourself and set reasonable expectations. If you do blow your Noom calorie budget one day, it’s not the end of the world. You’re not a bad person or a failure. Give yourself a break and remember that it’s just one day. You get to try again tomorrow.
Get plenty of rest. Have fun. Enjoy family and friends and the true meaning behind the holidays you celebrate.
What are your best tips for staying on track during the holiday season? Let us know in the comments below.