7 Healthy Holiday Tips from Dr. Oz


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  72 comments   :  25,540 Views

We recently sat in on a conference call with health expert Dr. Mehmet Oz, who shared with us some great tips on staying healthy throughout the holiday season. "The stress in holidays a lot more sophisticated and complex, with visiting relatives… and additional burdens of shopping and planning," he said. But that doesn’t mean that healthy living had to go on hiatus from Thanksgiving through the New Year. Here are his seven best tips, along with some further reading to help you stay in tip-top shape!

1. Don't skip out on sleep. Though it's tempting to enjoy a couple of holiday cocktails at a social gathering to ensure you'll get some shuteye, Dr. Oz, star of "The Dr. Oz Show" says "never having two drinks in a row helps you sleep better." In between your figure friendly cocktails, opt for water or club soda. "Alcohol makes sleeping through the night more difficult," he says.

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2. Start with a mind-body workout routine. No matter how tired he is when he gets up, Dr. Oz does a stretching and exercise routine that involves tai chi, sun salutations and deep breathing. "Taking a few minutes in the beginning of the day before people get to you" is a great way to ensure you'll get in a workout, and sticking to a routine "is a good opportunity to practice mental resilience," he said.

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3. Forgive yourself for slipping up. When it comes to emotional eating, we need to first come to the "fundamental realization that we're all mess-ups. Too often in life, we expect ourselves to be more perfect than is humanly possible," says Dr. Oz. He says it's OK to indulge in one slice of cake and not feel guilty. "For a lot of folks, the first slice isn't the problem," he said. "The second, third and fourth slices destroy your self esteem."

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4. Don't give in to holiday weight gain. It's a myth that we gain seven to 10 pounds during the holidays, said Dr. Oz. We actually only gain a pound or two, which is easy to keep off. His suggestion: "Eat 100 calories less per day during holidays get rid of weight you would have gained and set standard for the new year."

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5. Get in that exercise. Yes, this seems like it repeats Tip 2, but we can't say it enough: No matter how busy you are, no matter how stressed you get, work out!. Dr. Oz recommends "getting it in early in the day. When I try to do it late, other things preempt it. I do it very short and very quick."

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6. Don't make the meal the focus of the holiday. Dr. Oz recommends eating an early meal, then doing something active. His family plays football before the meal. "Everyone plays at their own level, and some people watch. Putting a few moments of thought into the tradition… can leave an impact on your kids…. All of our activities are built around food in most families, but it doesn't have to be that way."

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7. Eat natural foods to boost immunity. Dr. Oz recommends keeping your immune system strong by eating foods rich in Vitamin D (and taking a supplement), taking American ginseng, and getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. He recommends eating plenty of broccoli, which helps clean out the liver, and taking a multivitamin with omega-3, and making sure to get a daily dose of vitamins A, B, D, and E. And he said he feels "more comfortable recommending D than C" for fighting off illness.

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What is your biggest challenge during the holidays? What is your best tip for staying healthy?

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  • 72
    I love Dr. Oz ... I have been watching his show for a few months now and find he has so much helpful information. Helps keep me motivated. - 6/28/2011   8:31:14 AM
    Great wealth of information. Would love to see the show live.
    Skechers Tone Ups http://www.skecherstoneups.com sandals - 3/25/2010   4:45:35 PM
    I do enjoy DR OZ.

    He is actually part of the reason I have finally gotten off my butt and started down the right pat. Also part of the reason I'm not giving in even if I have gone wrong.

    You will get to your destination eventually if you just keep going!!! - 3/15/2010   8:34:07 PM
  • 69
    I'm impressed! Very sensible down-to-earth suggestions that are do-able, not just for holidays, but all the time. - 1/9/2010   10:04:42 PM
  • 68
  • 67
    The holidays are usually tough for me... when I get into social situations I often stuff my face. I am a small girl, so my family and friends usually prompt me by saying "your too skinny, you should eat this" and so forth. Then of course I feel sick after because I have eaten too much :/ This is my first Christmas being a Pescatarian, and also the first Christmas with my long-time boyfriends family, who are very bg meataterians! I am going to make my best effort to go to a yoga class Christmas eve morning because I think if I relax my mind, I can get through Christmas eve with the meataterians without eating emotionally :) Thanks Dr. Oz, I love you! - 12/18/2009   7:21:48 AM
  • 66
    Loved this blog...added to my favorites immediately! There are so many other things to click on and learn...thank you for this blog. I've never seen Dr. Oz's show, but reading this, I think I'd better learn more about him as he seems to be a Dr. who actually knows what's going on in the "real" world - we as humans want more medical advice than "take this pill"... - 12/17/2009   9:34:00 AM
  • 65
    Food and lots of it with none of it being healthy. Try a little of the foods you like so you get a taste but don't go over board. Also find time to exercise. I plan to take my yoga dvd to do at my parents as well as play with their WII. Also, I plan to use the hotel exercise equipment as we travel to and back from my parents. This is my plan and hope to come back with my weight holding and not gaining! - 12/17/2009   7:10:49 AM
  • 64
    I loved the tip on exercising: getting it in early in the day, do it very short and very quick.

    I've been struggling with working out after work. Plus, I've always wanted to try exercising in the morning. So this was like a revelation:)
    - 12/17/2009   5:05:19 AM
  • VICKY025
    thank you Dr. Oz for the great tips i love your show. - 12/17/2009   3:45:47 AM
  • 62
    Great tips. love Dr. Oz - 12/16/2009   8:26:10 PM
  • 61
    Thanks Dr Oz great advice I really need that - sweets get me at this time of year ones that come out for the holidays chocolate covered cherries yum - 12/16/2009   8:09:50 PM
  • 60
    My biggest challenge during the holidays is to eat right. I haven't gotten that down in normal time let alone during the holidays. I have been working out more though. I love walking around outside in the cold checking out the decorations. - 12/16/2009   6:32:19 PM
  • 59
  • 58
    cut those cals! - 12/16/2009   3:52:58 PM
  • 57
    Thanks for the advice. I needed it. - 12/16/2009   2:57:03 PM
  • 56
    Thanks Dr,Oz!! I watch his show everyday. LOVE it.. I also am entered in his weightloss success stories!!Hopefully will be picked to be on his show!!.. - 12/16/2009   2:02:29 PM
  • 55
    I would skimp on exercise during the holidays past years, but this year I've been keeping up with my regular fitness schedule. - 12/16/2009   1:13:13 PM
  • 54
    As much as I like Oprah, I like Dr. Oz's show even more. His no-nonsense advice is always on target and he walks the talk! I enjoy every aspect of what he brings to the table. His recommendations for the holidays are, as usual, to the point! We don't have to all look like Santa Claus just because it's Christmas! Thanks for this article. - 12/16/2009   1:03:40 PM
    This was a great article. I enjoy watching Dr. Oz..I always come away learning something new that prompts me to do some additional research. I'm glad to hear that he also thinks gaining 7-10lbs over the holidays is a myth. I have a hard time believing that one myself..I think ok Christmas dinner then New Years party..some work get together..how can I eat my way up to 7lbs worth of stuff in 3 weeks? - 12/16/2009   12:39:54 PM
  • 52
    Wonderful article! - 12/16/2009   12:19:44 PM
  • 51
    For the most part, what I do at the holidays is exactly the same thing I do during the rest of the year i.e. I do my best to moderate my eating habits. That isn't easy during the holiday with all the wonderful homemade goodies my family makes. I indulge, I just do my best to not overindulge.

    The fact is, food IS a very important part of my family's social life. We bond over food and it's not just the eating. Preparing the food is every bit as important as eating the food. At Christmas, we spend more time eating our meal than we do opening presents. Unless you're one of the kids. Then opening the presents is the most important part of the holiday. LOL !

    Socializing around food is an important part of family life for me. In order to stay healthy, I watch my portions. Moderation, not deprivation.

    Oh and I do love Dr Oz ! He does preach common sense. Which is why I like him a lot.
    - 12/16/2009   12:18:08 PM
    These are all very helpful hints. I love watching Dr. Oz. I have learned a lot from him. This will become one of my favorites. - 12/16/2009   12:12:25 PM
  • 49
    Great tips!! Thank you. :) - 12/16/2009   11:56:17 AM
  • 48
    This blog is going in my favorites. - 12/16/2009   11:30:25 AM
  • 47
    Wonderful blog! Thanks, Dr. Oz, for your tips!

    My main eating challenge around the holidays is that it is extremely stressful and busy. I am working more under pressured conditions, also working part-time in the evening, trying to squeeze in shopping, etc. I find myself eating out a lot more and not always making the best choices, and sometimes eating to either calm myself down or help me work through fatigue. Stress eating is my undoing! - 12/16/2009   11:28:13 AM
  • 46
    My biggest challenge during the holidays is portion control when it comes to sweets and desserts. I don't have these special foods during the rest of the year, so I tend to overindulge during the holidays.

    To compensate, I try to stay true to my regular diet (eating healthy foods), and my exercise program. It's easy to slip into the habit of skipping meals or skipping exercise, so if I stay on top of my daily routine, I am less likely to feel like throwing the whole program out the window. If I don't stick to my routine, I worry that I won't get back on the wagon after the New Year! So staying with my current routine is my strategy. - 12/16/2009   10:01:26 AM
  • 45
    This blog has been very helpful and informative, Thankyou Dr. Oz. My husband and I watch your show every day during the week. Please keep on giving advice to all of us. - 12/16/2009   9:56:43 AM
  • 44
    This blog is definitely going into my "favorites"! - 12/16/2009   9:38:27 AM
  • 43
    These are great tips and in fact, this is one of the best written and supplemented blogs yet! Keep up the great work. I especially liked having the supportive links in between. I think Dr. Oz must be a Sparker by nature. LOL!
    - 12/16/2009   9:11:25 AM
  • 42
    My biggest challenge is to just keep it simple. I have to keep reminding myself that the holiday is not about all the "stuff" and and busy-ness; that only a few meaningful things can make it more memorable. - 12/16/2009   8:48:38 AM
  • 41
    Wow, so much here to study. - 12/16/2009   7:32:49 AM
  • MINNA72
    Good blog post with lots of great suggestions. - 12/16/2009   7:28:33 AM
    Thanks Dr. Oz. I'll stick to a Cosmopolitan for my Christmas celebration drink and light juice drinks. - 12/16/2009   7:24:34 AM
  • 38
    Thanks Dr. OZ - 12/16/2009   6:42:17 AM
    Our family gatherings (inlaws) it is the same food at every event. Potato Salad, Amborsia (they call it five a kind salad), dry roasted or grilled meat (depending on the season) and so on. You get the point. I like to experiment with other flavors like brie and chutney with whole wheat crackers and fruit trays also this year I am having mini dessert tray instead of huge pies. I am having a small dinner Christmas Eve (the way I want it) with my kids and grandkids, then we have to endure Christmas day with the other. I am bringing a fruit tray so there will be healthy tasty options. - 12/16/2009   6:20:10 AM
  • 36
    Food's never an issue for me on Christmas - don't like most of what family cooks - and I bake so many cookies that by the time I'm done, my sweet tooth is on vacation...It's missing out on the exercise and sleep that are issues for me - with all the activities & stress of preparing for the holiday! - 12/16/2009   5:25:30 AM
  • 35
    Great advise - 12/16/2009   5:16:58 AM
  • 34
    LOVE this blog. Have saved it to my favourites to study later - so much good info - 12/16/2009   5:10:03 AM
  • 33
    This is a great article. Thank you! It has so much information in it. I am saving it to my fav's. - 12/16/2009   2:14:07 AM
  • 32
    Great blog good info - 12/16/2009   12:34:26 AM
    It is nice to see that Sparkpeople were able to chat with Dr. Oz. I watch his show daily when I can. When I can't, I set the VCR to record for later viewing!

    I also have a letter pending for him! - 12/16/2009   12:34:21 AM
  • 30
    I was at a party just this afternoon at my office. There was more than enough food. My strategy was to tell myself I could have some sweets only if I still wanted them after eating a plate piled high with raw vegetables and some fruit. Guess what? That's all I needed. I never even tasted the desserts. I didn't even crave them. I felt very good about it. - 12/15/2009   11:31:43 PM
    Thanks for posting this! There is a lot of good info in this! - 12/15/2009   11:24:52 PM
    What a lot of good information. Getting my exercise regularly helps me to stay on track - 12/15/2009   11:20:43 PM
  • 27
    I love Dr Oz. I watch him when I am home and on the computer when I am not. I learn a lot from his show and from sparkpeople. - 12/15/2009   10:47:01 PM
  • 26
    Great advice! For me it's tough not overindulging when baking, & keeping the stress at a minimum. I've been sick for a while, & am still recovering so just getting back to my exercise routine will be great. - 12/15/2009   10:03:33 PM
  • 25
    I love his show..He seems like such a kind and gentle man.. - 12/15/2009   6:30:15 PM
  • 24
    I love Dr.Oz I look at your show every day - 12/15/2009   4:35:26 PM
  • 23
    I love Dr. Oz. I watch him every day.
    I forwarded this to all my freinds.
    It's such good rules of thumb to follow.

    I wish Dr. Oz's show on tv was longer so that he didn't have to do everything in snippets, especially the question and answer portion of the show. He has such a wonderful way of presenting things.

    ~Sallye~ - 12/15/2009   4:09:41 PM

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