Beaufort Memorial’s Living Well Blog brings health and wellness to Lowcountry living.

8 Ways to Handle Social Pressure During the Holidays

Posted by Living Well Team on Dec 21, 2016 11:11:19 AM

The holidays can be a fun and exciting time of year, but they can also be challenging or stressful for people who are trying to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Social gatherings and celebrations with friends and family often revolve around food and alcohol, and it’s common to feel pressure to overindulge. Stressful family situations may tempt you to eat, drink or engage in other unhealthy behaviors as a way to cope. Family and friends may encourage you to eat or drink more than you should.

Here are some ways to maintain your healthy habits at holiday social gatherings:

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   David Purser, BMH LifeFit Wellness Coach

Have a game plan going in.

What are you going to eat and drink, and how much? Set some guidelines for yourself and stick to them.

Bring a low-calorie dish to the party.

Fruits and vegetables are a great choice, as they can be prepared a variety of ways and are full of vitamins and minerals.

Avoid alcohol/substitute for low-calorie options.

If you choose to drink, stick with light beers or cocktails mixed with water or diet soda. A couple cautions, however—alcohol can impair your judgment, making you more likely to overeat. Alcohol also has a negative impact on your hormones and can make you more likely to store body fat.

Fill up on low-calorie foods and water.

Drink a glass or two of water before your meal to fill your stomach. Doing this, as well as eating plenty of your low-calorie foods first, will make you feel fuller so you won’t be as likely to overindulge on high-calorie foods.

Bring someone to the party with similar lifestyle goals.

Having an accountability buddy can be extremely helpful in keeping you on track. Tell this person what your goals are and ask them to help you stay on track.


Learn to say “No thanks”.

It can be hard to do, but you might have to say no to some of your friends and family when they offer sweets, extra servings of high-calorie foods and drinks.

Incorporate physical activity into the event.

Make it a point to be active during the holiday season. Go on walks with friends and family, play active games, or go outside and play with the kids.

Stay focused on your long-term goals.

Remember why a healthy lifestyle is important to you. Is it worth it to eat, drink and be merry if that means losing all the progress you’ve made toward improving your health and fitness?

Much of the preceding information is based on the educational materials included in the LifeFit 12-Week Body Makeover program. Contact Ricca Callis for more information at or 843-522-5635.

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