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Staying Healthy During the Holidays

Santa Claus picking up a cookie from a plate with a mug and more cookies.
Watch those holiday treats!

If you overdid it on the Christmas cookies and eggnog this year, don't worry – it's not too late to get your health back on track.

With all the treats available, it's easy to throw good habits right out the window. But Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, says that even if you backslid on your diet this holiday, you don't need to think of it as a failure.


"Even if, during the holiday you're not really losing weight, just staying at a constant weight, you can probably congratulate yourself," he said.


Maintaining a healthy weight is important because obesity can increase the risk for a variety of health conditions, including heart disease, type two diabetes, and kidney disease. 


Dr. Rodgers offered a number of strategies for people watching what they eat, including bringing your own healthy dish to holiday potlucks.  He also suggested watching alcohol intake and trying to limit the number of drinks you have.


But staying healthy doesn't mean you have to say no to all the treats on offer.


"If you can't say no to those cakes and pies, just eat a smaller slice," he suggested. "Or have one cookie instead of four."


Finally, Dr. Rodgers advised families to look at ways to keep active at holiday events. 


"After you eat, maybe the whole group can go out for a nice walk. Or put together a playlist of your favorite songs for a little dance contest," he said.


Finally, remember that a  healthy lifestyle isn't just a benefit to you. Modeling good behavior will influence the children in your family and help give them the gift of developing healthy habits while they're still young. 

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