December Nutrition Challenge: Survive

Survive The Holidays


As part of our #fitnessisalifestyle campaign, I am going to create small nutrition challenges that you can work on each month! The goal isn’t perfection here.. it’s just to become a “little bit better” than you were yesterday.  This is how we create new habits and lasting change. Let’s use each other for motivation and new ideas!!

The challenge for DECEMBER is:


Ok, what does that mean!? This time of year we are all bombarded with TEMPTATIONS... holiday parties galore, treats brought into the office, extra stress of finding gifts and planning parties which can lead to less food prepping and more unhealthy “feed me fast” meals. One sugary treat turns into one a day which turns into the “ ‘F’ it’s… I’ll eat better next year”!  

Your goal is to come out of this holiday season ‘a little bit better’ than last year… so make a few ‘better’ decisions this year.  I have listed out some strategies below and encourage you to try one or more of them this December.

You must have a plan!  

If you just read this and say sure, you’ll try.. It won’t happen.  You need to choose which strategy or strategies you are going to take on and commit to it and then put it in action.  Write down what you will try or tell a friend or loved one so you have accountability.. better yet, post it to the Diablo Facebook group 😉


Don’t wait until you get to the holiday party, starving, to realize there is nothing there that you want to eat. Offer to bring a dish so that you know there will be at least one healthy option. Another tip, if you can’t bring food, eat a small meal or snack before you go. When you’re not super hungry you will make better food choices.  You can decide to wait until after the party to eat or snack there if you find decent options.


We all want to have fun and be social at holiday gatherings but alcohol calories can add up fast! Drinking will also lead to poorer food choices and sleep.. which will lead to poorer food choices the next day. Try to limit the amount of drinks you have or try a sparkling water with lemon or lime instead! Everyone will think you are indulging but you will feel better in the morning. If you are drinking, make sure to drink enough water too!

Strategy #3 – EAT SLOW

Enjoy the time you have with friends and family this season.. engage in conversations while you are eating to help slow you down. When we eat too fast, we can’t hear our body telling us we are full. It takes about 20 min for the signals to make it to your brain that say “I’ve had enough”.. if you eat your food faster than that, it’s much easier to overeat.  Also, foods with more sugar and fat will override those signals so EATING SLOWLY and being MINDFUL can help with holiday binging. You should be done with a meal when you are no longer hungry… not stuffed.


Instead of focusing on what you CAN’T HAVE at holiday parties.. focus on what you CAN! Fill your plate with good protein and vegetable sources first and then don’t feel guilty for the rest.  We should never shame ourselves for our food choices.. make the decision to eat what you are going to and that’s it. If you eat the protein and veggies first, you won’t have as much room for the high sugar foods. Then you can feel good that you got in some solid nutrition and your body will thank you later 😉  

Strategy #5 – TAKE A WALK

After a big meal, it’s easy to want to just sit and relax, but do yourself a favor and go for a short walk instead!  Studies have shown that walking after a meal aids in digestion and can even help improve blood sugar levels. Walking can also prevent 2nd or 3rd trips to the food table when you aren’t even really hungry anymore. So put on your coat and go check out the neighbors Christmas decorations!


Do you travel during the holidays? There are many ways to stay on track while traveling too.. I always bring my own snacks with me and research where I can get healthy food at my destination. Check out this great post on all the ways to TRAVEL BETTER 🙂

Strategy #7 – STAY HYDRATED

Make sure you are drinking enough water this season!  Dehydration can be confused for hunger by the body. Try drinking a big glass of water before a meal or when you feel ‘snacky’ and see if you still want to eat. Don’t like water?  Try sparkling water (without sweeteners) or add a little fruit like lemon, lime or berries.

So there you have 7 specific strategies to help you Survive This Holiday Season. Choose what makes the most sense for you every week and post those scores to SugarWod! You don’t have to be attending a holiday party to work on all of these strategies either, so make sure to work on at least 1 of these each week in December. And please tag #fitnessisalifestyle and #diablocrossfit with any social media posts so we can follow along.

Coach Jennifer Ismar