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Valentine’s Day, not unlike many other holidays, heavily revolves around unhealthy food.  Giving heart-shaped candies and chocolates along with date night dinners filled with calories are at the forefront.  If you are dedicated to weight-loss success, finding healthy ways to celebrate special occasions may be challenging.  Here are a few alternatives to swap out the sugary sweets.

For the Kids: We are accustomed to purchasing large bags of candies and boxes of cards for our kids to take to their classmates and friends.  That may bring up conflicting messages if you are modeling a healthy lifestyle for your children.  Instead of sending candies, give V-Day themed pencils, socks, mini-stuffed animals, jump ropes, or small toys.  These items are relatively inexpensive and will stand out amongst the other items in the kiddo’s treat bag.

In the Office: Similar to what happens when you are in grade school, the office is packed with not only candies but other sweet treats that are loaded with calories and lacking nutritional value.  You could choose to participate without partaking in the spread of foods that you are trying to avoid and opt to bring in something healthy, like an edible arrangement.  You could also suggest the office celebrate in a different way.  Consider leading an office competition that promotes weight-loss and physical activity leading up to Valentine’s Day.  Or, consider the treat bag scenario but with an added twist.  Grab some buckets, place everyone’s name on the buckets, have each staff member write one thing they appreciate about everyone else on paper hearts, and then drop those little hearts in their buckets.  This will help coworkers who may not have a significant other feel loved and is also a great team builder.

With that Special Someone: Celebrating Valentine’s Day with your significant other is the highlight of the holiday for most.  While it can be difficult to imagine V-Day without chocolates and candies, think about how short-lived those gifts are in comparison to your long-term goal of weight-loss success.  Consider giving gifts that show sentimental value.  If dinner is a part of the plan, cook a healthy candle-lit dinner at home instead of going out.

Gal-entine’s Day: If you happen to be celebrating this super fun version with your favorite gal pal, try hitting the spa or taking a cool new class like aerial yoga or a trapeze class.

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