How to Set Yourself Up for Success During the Holidays

Guest Blogger:

Wendy Crabbe


Image of a hand holding a clock

You may think it’s impossible to improve your health during the holidays. There  are so many food temptations, increased stress, holiday parties, and more to do  with less time to get it done. 

But what if you decided to take a different approach? A kinder, gentler approach  with yourself.

Most of our stress is self-imposed; mine is anyway. So, take a few  deep breaths and drop the expectation to lose weight during the holidays. Make  it about eating healthier.  

One way to start is to increase mindfulness around what you put in your mouth  by being thankful for what you are about to eat. Stop and take a pause and give  thanks before putting anything in your mouth.  

Another way to increase mindfulness is to slow down and really taste the food. If  you don’t love it, don’t eat it. I know, I know; many of us were brought up unable  to leave food on our plate because of the starving children in Africa. Remember,  

the food left on your plate will go in the garbage and no children will benefit from  it.  

What if eating healthier over the holidays could be easy? It might be as simple as  eating one healthy meal per day. Make it dinnertime, so your family can get  healthier as well.  

Here are my top 10 tips to improve your health during the holidays:  

  1. Make only 5-ingredient or less meals (buy my recipe ebook: Healthy Not Hungry: Rescue Recipes for the Holidays & Beyond)
  2. Buy pre-cut up veggies like butternut squash, zucchini, onions, peppers, etc. or meal prep
  3. Make a menu for the week for dinners, think simple and easy
  4.  Buy the groceries in advance (if you don’t have the ingredients, you are more likely to eat fast food and more than you wanted
  5. Make a plan for evenings on the go such as soccer games, after work functions, activities (such as buying prepared meals like chicken or tuna salad, soups, turkey & cheese roll ups with carrots and hummus)
  6. Try to move more (take the stairs, park further away) or take a short walk to reduce stress 
  7. Drink a large glass of water before reaching for snacks (chances are, you are dehydrated instead of hungry)
  8. Limit number of cocktails and drink water in between (the more alcohol you drink the more likely you are to eat more and make poorer choices)
  9.  Make a plan for what you will eat at a party, whether you plan to eat your favorite pasta or dessert. Even if you don’t know what will be served, you may be able to guess. If desserts are well known at that venue or party,  then plan to eat protein, healthy fat, veggies, grain and 1 small dessert  
  10.  Think about your health goal every day and when you can’t plan ahead of  time, make the best choice in the moment. Be kind to yourself.  

Your health goal could be making good choices for yourself most of the time or  the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy 80% of the time and 20% of the time enjoy your  favorite foods. The small choices you make everyday count. Take it one-day-at-a time. 

It’s OK to have your favorite Christmas cookies. Your goal might be to have 2  instead of the 6 like you had last year. If you eat too much one day, learn from it  and move on. No need to starve yourself the next day or make yourself feel bad;  just eat a few bites less.  

You can do this!  

If you want to get a copy of my Healthy Not Hungry recipe ebook, click on the link.  It is $20.00 well spent. The recipes are so easy, my husband can make them (and  he doesn’t cook).  

You can also get more tips from me by joining my email list: 

I also have a weekly blog and podcast: Weight Loss With Wendy which is on all  the major platforms.  

As an added bonus, below is a copy of the recipe my husband made on his day off  when I was working, and he had to make dinner. He made crunchy chicken salad  from my recipe book in about 20 minutes, and it was delicious!  

Chicken Salad with Lots of Crunch 

Use pre-cut up Rotisserie chicken and bagged coleslaw, sliced almonds. Serves 4-6.  


1 package 2 packages 

Rotisserie chicken, shredded 


Sugar snap peas, Julienne carrots for color 

Make your own lemon dressing with 1⁄4 cup olive oil, Juice of 1 lemon, lemon zest, salt, pepper,  garlic 

Sliced almonds, cut up apple or grapes to taste 

Directions: Make salad dressing in jar. Put all dry ingredients together and add dressing or let  each person add their own dressing.