#1 Designate “Treat Days” – The entire holiday season is often viewed as a license to binge. This attitude is a major culprit behind holiday weight gain. Instead of a month-long binge, pick a few special days to treat yourself, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and that special holiday cookie swap you always attend.
#2 Maintain Your Exercise Routine – The holidays can be stressful. Working out at least 3-4 times per week will not only help maintain your waistline, but also your sanity! Pre-festivity workouts can also be a great way to balance your calorie intake. For example, check out a local Turkey Trot to curb those Thanksgiving calories!
#3 Stick to Your Favorites – We all have those holiday staples we can’t live without. (A holiday season without stuffing, gravy, and sugar cookies? No thank you!) So indulge in your favorites, but pass on ho-hum holiday fare.
#4 Bring A Healthy Dish to Pass – You can load up on a healthier option, while taking smaller portions of the more decadent dishes.
#5 Practice Saying “No” – We all have that friend or relative who takes your refusal to indulge as a personal attack. These people often cook for others as a way to show their love. In order to avoid offending Aunt Tilly, practice saying “No, thank you” in a kind way. (P.S. If all else fails, tell them the food “doesn’t agree with you”. No one wants to know what that means! :))
#6 Remember that Alcohol has Calories –Many people imbibe during the holiday season. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, meaning those calories add up quickly! It’s also important to remember that your body wants to rid itself of alcohol as quickly as possible. Instead of metabolizing fats and carbohydrates, your body focuses on ridding itself of alcohol, contributing to seasonal weight gain. Try sticking to less than two drinks per holiday event or alternating between alcoholic beverages and water.
#7 Be Wary of the Office– If you work in a communal setting, you’re probably subject to well-meaning co-workers bringing in indulgent treats. To combat temptation, make sure you have healthier snack options available. If that fudge is simply too tempting to avoid, take one piece on your way out the door. Then you can enjoy your treat without worrying about going back for more!
#8 Don’t Worry, Be Happy – The holidays should be a time of enjoyment. It’s likely you’ll eat a few things you normally wouldn’t. Don’t worry! Maintain your exercise routine and eat better tomorrow. Living a healthy lifestyle is all about balance, not deprivation.