To 'Hoover' during the Holidays means to eat fast and a lot by sucking up the food on your plate, usually without the use of utensils.  We all do it, it's justifiable - most of the snacks and desserts are SO good, and it's only once a year, right?  Unfortunately, this behavior perpetuates the need for the most popular new years resolutions - to eat better, to lose weight, and to cut out 'bad' foods. all of which are such cliches in any time.  Here is how I have changed my holiday habits for the better in this ever increasing tasty season.

Take Inventory of all the Food on the Trough Table

Scan the spread before you make the entire spread part of you.  Pick up to three of your favorites and one that looks good but you've never tried.  Grab one of the tiniest plates available (if there are only dinner plate size, ask the host for a smaller one, they won't mind) and put the four foods using only one-quarter of the plate for each.  Please use a utensil to eat.  Do the full chew and swallow before taking another bite, even if standing you can put your fork down in between bites.  Bottom line - take your time and enjoy the food, not just the filling of the belly!

Choose your drinks well

It is true that some party drinks are more fattening than deep-fried-bacon-wrapped-cheese-curds.  Knowing what is in your favorite mixed drinks can blow up your reality, but it's better to know than not.  Case in point, changing to a Gin and Tonic to save calories from a non-light beer sounds like a good idea, I mean how many calories can be in G&T, right?  Well, an 8 oz. gin and tonic contains about 200 calories, mainly due to the tonic containing high fructose corn syrup.  Compare that to my second go to beer, Blue Moon, which contains only 171 calories per 12 oz (my first is Guinness containing only 125 calories per 12 oz.).  Swap out the tonic for club soda, which has zero calories, and you are only taking in about 64 calories!  Add an extra lime and you'll never know the difference. 

Here's a calorie list of some popular Holiday and go to drinks, per 8 oz.:

  • Spiked Egg Nog - 425 calories
  • Cosmopolitan - 400 calories
  • Hot Buttered Rum - 335 calories
  • White Russian - 700 calories
  • Skinnygirl Margarita - 200 calories
  • Plain hot chocolate -190 calories

Now for some good news

  • Old Fashioned - 180 calories
  • Moscow Mule - 140 calories
  • Mojito - 150 calories
  • Gimlet - 178 calories
  • Champagne - 180 calories

Of course, enjoy in moderation.  Slip in a few soda waters with a lime twist after one or two drinks, no one will be the wiser and you will be able to wake up easier the next day, not to mention the lower calorie intake.


Just because it's the holidays doesn't mean you can take a break from getting your exercise.  In this season you should actually be doing more exercise, at the very least step up the intensity of your sessions if you are going to cut down.  If you do really get strapped for time, or just get the lazy's, follow this routine that will hit most of your muscles in a relatively short amount of time.  (Consult with your doctor if you are new to exercise before starting this plan.)

Holiday Speed Workout

Two minute warm-up - jumping jacks, bike, treadmill, something to get the heart going and warm up your muscles.

All of the exercises you will do for 40 seconds with a 20 second break in between.

  • Push-ups
  • Dumb-bell curls (bi-cepts)
  • Upright rows (Shoulders)
    • Repeat the above three
  • Plank on elbows and toes
  • Any tri-cept exercise - dips, bent over extensions, over head extensions
  • Crunches
    • Repeat the above three.

You're done in 15 minutes and you will most likely break a sweat.

Whatever you do to keep somewhat of a healthy lifestyle through the holidays, just keep in mind to enjoy friends, family, and the joy of the season itself.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

Victor is a certified health coach, call for a consultation to help you get through the holidays with a custom plan.