10 Easy Tricks to Have the Healthiest Holiday Ever

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10 Easy Tricks to Have the Healthiest Holiday Ever

It’s so hard to stay on track during the holidays!  Here are my 10 favorite healthy holiday tips.

Hello! Hello!

The holidays are so much fun but we all know about the overwhelming number of extra stressors, food and indulgences.  It might be the most wonderful time of the year but it can wreak havoc on your health goals.  Between all the cookies, cakes and dips it can be hard to make good food choices… plus all the obligations and traveling can make it near impossible to keep a training and fitness schedule.  It can be a bit overwhelming for someone trying to lead a healthier lifestyle.

I’m a firm believer in moderation so I don’t think you have to deprive yourself this time of year but I do think there are a few things you can do to stay on track.  That way you don’t feel like you have to “fix” your diet come January.  Hopefully my 10 Easy Tips to Have the Healthiest Holiday Ever will keep you feeling awesome all season long.

10 Healthy Holiday Tips

1. Carefully Indulge

I am not going to tell you to not eat your favorite Christmas things.  I think you should!  When you do indulge carefully pick your favorites and actually take the time to savor and really enjoy the few things you really love in reasonable portions.  Don’t mindlessly eat something just because someone delivered it to you.

One of my favorite worth-it indulgences are my Soft Bake White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies.

Chewy Soft Baked White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies recipe/ Running in a Skirt

2. Don’t Go to a Party Starving

If you are going to a party in the evening, eat well balanced food for the rest of the day that way you know you still got some vitamins in your system.   Also don’t go to a party starving, eat a small high protein snack before you go to keep the mindless snacking in check.


3. Only Keep a Few Sweets in the House

I know if I make a batch of brownies at home, I will eat them all.  If you bake, package the treats and give them as gifts. Enjoy a small number of the treats and then get them out of the house. Out of sight, out of mind!  Again… you should not feel guilty if you have some sweets… just don’t go crazy.

Also consider making some of my healthy holiday treat swaps like my Peppermint Fudge No Bake Energy Bites.

Peppermint Fudge No Bake Energy Bites Recipe - healthy festive bites of chocolate fun!/ Running in a Skirt


4. Schedule Your Runs

When the calendar starts getting busier, it can be hard to find time to run. Schedule your runs and workouts like a business meeting now so you know you will have time for them.  This is one of my biggest healthy holiday tips.


5. Focus on Quality

If you have less time to run or workout, focus on quality rather than quantity.  If you are running, give each daily run a specific purpose: speed work, tempo run or long run. You can most likely maintain your running with three days a week until the chaos passes.  If you are working out consider high intensity workouts that give you the most bang in the short amount of time you do have.


6. Holiday Race Trifecta

There is nothing more motivating than a race or races! Sign up for the holiday race trifecta: Turkey Trot, Christmas Race & New Year’s Race. Three races in six weeks is bound to keep you training!

7. Don’t Drink All Your Calories

No lie… I adore a peppermint mocha and wine.  Both of which are full of empty calories and the wine is dehydrating.  Enjoy both in moderation or pick a healthier treat like my Healthy Peppermint Chocolate Smoothie.

Healthy Peppermint Chocolate Smoothie recipe / Running in a Skirt


8. Be Active with the Family

You may be the only runner or fitness enthusiast in your family, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a couch potato around them. Find something active that everyone likes to do. Whether it is going for a walk or playing Dance Party on Wii, you are burning calories and staying fit.


9. 15 minute Workouts

Have an extra few minutes?  Don’t waste them!  Slip in some extra 10-15 minute workouts with bodyweight movements.  They will energize you, make you stronger and help balance out the extra treats.  Even try my Holly Jolly Christmas Workout.

Holly Jolly Christmas Workout / Running in a Skirt

10. Don’t be Too Hard on yourself…

With all this said my best and most important tip is to not be too hard on yourself.  No one is perfectly healthy all the time including me.  We all fall off the wagon and no worse for the wear.  Being with family, honoring certain traditions and finding joy is what really matters!  Life is about a lot more than a diet.


Like this post about healthy holiday tips?  Pin this to your favorite Pinterest board!

Your turn!

How do you stay healthy around the holidays?

I’m linking up to Wild Workout Wednesday.


  1. Agness of Fit Travelling December 15, 2017 at 7:06 am - Reply

    Wow! These tips are more than useful and necessary, Julie. I am definitely saving your post to reread it again. Being active with the family is something I will do for sure. 😉

  2. Shathiso December 15, 2017 at 6:05 am - Reply

    I love all these tips especially scheduling runs and making sure you don’t go to party/or out hungry! I also can’t keep nice goodies in the house without eating them all! What’s with that?! Happy Holidays 🙂

  3. Nicole @ Fitful Focus December 13, 2017 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    I always pack healthy snacks whenever I go to a party so that I won’t be tempted by all the treats! Great tips!

  4. Kimberly Hatting December 13, 2017 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    All great tips!! I think everything in moderation is the key, that goes both for fitness and food. Missing a couple of misc. workouts will not derail all prior efforts to get (or stay) in shape, nor will an extra cookie add three inches to your waist. This time of year is filled with so many great opportunities for family, friends, and fun, we all need to enjoy it.

  5. Annmarie December 13, 2017 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Not going to a party starving is definitely key for me – I do need to work on indulging a little less when it comes to wine, though!

  6. Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy December 13, 2017 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    These are all great tips! Especially not keeping too many sweets at home (my husband was finally well enough from his cold to go back to work today, and the last of the cranberry bars went back in with him) and not indulging in #allthedrinks. Luckily I don’t drink, which allows me to indulge in a few more sweets!

    Those peppermint energy balls look really good! I don’t have any peppermints at home. 🙁

  7. Bacheca BBincontri Milano December 13, 2017 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Great list..thanks for sharing!

  8. Chelsea December 12, 2017 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    This is SUCH a good list!! I definitely need to work on the whole “keep less treats at home” part! Ha! It’s so insanely difficult to avoid the gifting of sweets this time of year, because I just can’t help myself sometimes from dipping my hand in the cookie jar over and over again! 😉 I love the idea of incorporating a holiday run too! Those are always so much fun!! The costumes are always too cute too!

  9. Lisa Ballantyne December 12, 2017 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Great tips Julie, and not to mention some very tempting creations! Thank you for sharing!

  10. [email protected] December 12, 2017 at 10:06 am - Reply

    I like your sensible hints for staying healthy during the holidays! I also enjoyed your snow pics from yesterday. We really got slammed with snow didn’t we?! Looking forward to seeing your WLOS segment.

  11. Erinn December 12, 2017 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Love these tips! I totally agree with the point about not going to a party hungry…and short workouts are the best!

  12. Emily @ Pizza and Pull-Ups December 12, 2017 at 7:24 am - Reply

    These are great tips! I try to freeze for later or give away a lot of the goodies I bake. If they are sitting on the counter, I will eat them, but out of sight is out of mind. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Maureen @ Maureen Gets Real December 12, 2017 at 6:24 am - Reply

    Me “I’m not going to bake anything between now and New Years unless its for a party”
    Julie *shares an amaing cookie recipe*
    Me “Omg I need to make those cookies!”

    Lol but seriously why did you do that to me girl?! I need to find a reason to bake those now. Great tips 🙂

  14. Jaime December 1, 2014 at 9:19 am - Reply

    Scheduling any type of workout is important for me. I haven’t been able to run a lot this past month, but I’ve been able to get in other workouts. I think it’s the only way I’ve maintained my sanity!

    • JulieWunder December 1, 2014 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      Yeah, I have to do something!!! Thank goodness you fit it in!

  15. don whitmire November 29, 2014 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Thanks for the holiday tips. They all make sense to be sensible about eating and set goals for fitness.

    • JulieWunder November 30, 2014 at 9:34 am - Reply

      All good things in moderation 🙂 Thanks Don!

  16. Matt November 29, 2014 at 12:14 am - Reply

    A Holiday Race sounds really good. The holiday is when we tend to let loose, after all.

  17. Cailee November 27, 2014 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    No excuses!! What a great list!! Love it! Happy Holidays!! The season has officially begun! 🙂

    • JulieWunder November 30, 2014 at 9:39 am - Reply

      It’s exciting! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  18. Danyelle Musselman November 26, 2014 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    No sweets in the house… Julie, you’re killing me! LOL! Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  19. Heather @Fit n Cookies November 26, 2014 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Awesome tips! I shared some today too 🙂 One of my favs is to survey everything first, then choose what you want!

    • JulieWunder November 30, 2014 at 9:41 am - Reply

      That’s a great one Heather! I’m playing blog catch up now! I have to go over and see your list too. I”m sure it is fabulous.

  20. Madeline St Onge November 26, 2014 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    Happy Thanksgiving Julie, to you and your family

  21. Libby Haire November 26, 2014 at 11:38 am - Reply

    Hey Julie – Loved your “schedule your run” on the list — with the possibility of snow in NC and upstate SC that might be an interesting event. Your ideas are good ones, and a I, too, like the idea of having a little of both. Aren’t we an “all things in moderation” group, anyway? LOL. Maybe.
    Best wishes as you and your family enjoy another Thanksgiving at your home. I know how much fun you have when you are HOSTING ! It can be hectic but is also joyous. I love the latest entry into the “Publix” commercials which says, “it may not be flawless, but it is always perfect.”
    So get ready to enjoy your Perfect Day!

    • JulieWunder November 30, 2014 at 9:42 am - Reply

      I love that commercial too! So inspiring! Thank you for reading my blog and your your support.

  22. MILLIE November 26, 2014 at 9:58 am - Reply


  23. Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections November 26, 2014 at 9:57 am - Reply

    I love all of these! I think I need to adopt the scheduling my runs/workouts one for sure. I have given myself so much slack in this pregnancy because I am just so exhausted sometimes. I stopped scheduling things because I was worried I wouldn’t have the energy and for a while I didn’t. But now I’m feeling a lot better – I really need to get into the habit!

    • JulieWunder November 30, 2014 at 9:43 am - Reply

      Don’t be too hard on yourself, you are growing another HUMAN afterall 🙂 Scheduling has always worked for me. If I don’t, I can’t find the time for it.

  24. Susie @ SuzLyfe November 26, 2014 at 9:49 am - Reply

    I think you definitely have to just allow yourself to enjoy both healthy choices as well as indulging–I think there is so much focus on feeling like you have to do one OR the other. Why not both!!

    • JulieWunder November 30, 2014 at 9:44 am - Reply

      Very true! Life isn’t just black and white…. right or wrong. That is a lesson I’m continuing to grasp as I get older.

  25. Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie November 26, 2014 at 8:57 am - Reply

    My secret is signing up for the Disney marathon in January. Running a marathon a few weeks after Christmas will make a girl want to stay in shape ; )

  26. Joanna @Makingmine November 26, 2014 at 8:34 am - Reply

    I love all of these tips! It’s important to be healthy, but it’s also important to realize that it’s a season of celebration and some things are going to have to slide. The not going to a party hungry is a wonderful idea though – that will certainly help with mindless eating at the appetizer table!

  27. Dan Steadman November 26, 2014 at 8:02 am - Reply

    usually doing a Thanksgiving Day race, but resting this year. Just going to Grandmother’s house for Turkey Day dinner and getting to see one of my cousins I haven’t seen in 20 years…as far as tips, you nailed it…oh and sign up for the Hot Chocolate 10k in Late January…will do as soon as I see how this injury heals up

  28. Blane Sherer November 26, 2014 at 6:46 am - Reply

    I like the tips.
    I certainly wish you and your family

  29. Jenny November 26, 2014 at 6:14 am - Reply

    Number 3! Oh, that one is crucial for me. I love to cook, but I cannot have leftover treats in the house. And scheduling a race is such great accountability!

    Happy Thanksgiving to the Wunder clan! May it be delicious! 😉

    • JulieWunder November 30, 2014 at 9:47 am - Reply

      Yeah, I seriously will eat it all if the sweets are in the house because I feel guilty about wasting food.

  30. Jessie November 26, 2014 at 5:35 am - Reply

    Please be a doll & share the Skinny Peppermint Hot Cocoa as soon as possible. Even though we don’t have winter temperatures here, theres no reason why I can’t curl up next to my husband w/ a mug of hot cocoa :).

    To answer your question: Joshua leaves for work at 6 & won’t get home until 8 at night. So my day will be pretty relaxed. Which is probably a good thing since I’ve been sick & need that extra rest. Once he gets home we’ll have a little Thanksgiving spread & watch football for the remainder of the night.

    • Jenny November 26, 2014 at 6:15 am - Reply

      YES! I kind of want that recipe right now. With some coffee in it.

      • JulieWunder November 30, 2014 at 9:47 am - Reply

        YUM….. mine doesn’t have coffee.. but I’m inspired to make another recipe!

    • JulieWunder November 30, 2014 at 9:46 am - Reply

      It’s coming up this week! You can drink it and pretend it is chilly.
      I hope you are feeling better now. I’ve been thinking about you. It must be tough being sick pregnant.

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