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Is a Weight Neutral Holiday Possible?

Healthy Eating

The holidays are a time of fun with family and friends full of sweets and treats. Unfortunately, some people dread the holidays because they know they are going to gain weight due to all the tempting food and drink. But don’t worry, you don’t need to deprive yourself and miss out on all the festivities – you can enjoy all the season has to offer without disrupting the great work you’ve done all year to keep yourself fit. Here are 10 tips to make it to January without adding on any extra pounds;

  1. Stick to your fitness routine – The holidays can be joyous but they can also be stressful. Stress can lead to overeating and drinking. Exercise is an excellent way to keep stress under control. Make sure to stick to your fitness routine – your holidays will be a lot more fun if you are happy and healthy and your loved ones will appreciate it too! If you are traveling, then consider a workout that could include pushups, sit ups, and jumping jacks. These exercises don’t require fancy equipment and can help you still maintain your strength and aerobic fitness. And, even a mere 15 minutes of exercise can help keep you on track.
  2. Be Aware – It’s easy to lose track of what you are eating and drinking during the holidays. Slow down and take your time while you are imbibing. Really taste what you’re eating. A treat or two probably won’t do you much harm, but a whole platter of cookies is probably not a great idea when you are trying not to gain during the season!
  3. Plan Ahead – Before a party or event, think about how you will indulge yourself. You could plan to try some appetizers at one event while skipping the sweets and then vice versa at another event. Plan to look for healthy choices to fill up on, like veggies and salads – then if you want dessert, you’ll be more likely to be satisfied with a bite or two. Plan on small portions and not going back to the buffet multiple times. Be prepared to say “no” – people will probably try to get you to eat and drink more than you normally would.
  4. Focus on Fun – Focus on spending time with your friends and family and enjoying each other’s company. Don’t make every event all about food. Instead, maybe plan activities like touch football, hikes, board games, crafts, and favorite seasonal movies.
  5. Don’t Starve Yourself – Eat healthy when you’re not celebrating. Starving yourself all day so you can have whatever you want while you’re at a party is more likely to lead to a total pig out. Again, it’s a lot better for your metabolism to have what you like in moderation rather than gorging yourself. If you are eating healthy meals, you will be more likely to be able to resist knocking other guests over in a mad dash to the buffet!
  6. No Leftovers – If you are hosting a gathering, stock up on inexpensive containers so that you can send your guests home with the leftovers. Many people have a hard time not filling up on the leftovers the next day. If you can remove the temptation from your home, it will definitely help!
  7. Use the Buddy System – If you’ve got a friend or family member who wants to stay weight neutral over the holidays, then team up. Promise to keep tabs on one another and to provide support. If you can exercise together, that’s even better. If you don’t have a buddy, then you can use your smart phone or a device like a fit bit to help you keep track of your steps and calories.
  8. Weigh Yourself – The scale is not your enemy. By weighing yourself a couple of times a week, you will be able to catch any pounds trying to creep in before it’s too late to get back into good habits.
  9. Drink Water – Keep yourself hydrated. It’s so important for your health, helps fend off fatigue and stress, fights headaches, and reduces cravings for carbs and sugar. When there is a lot of alcohol and soda available (like at holiday gatherings), it’s easy to fill up on these and forget to drink water. Likewise, the holidays can be very busy and hectic. Again, it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated. Set reminders on your smartphone or fill a water bottle and make sure you’ve finished it by the end of the day.
  10. Indulge Yourself  It’s okay to indulge yourself during the holidays. It’s only once a year after all! Just give yourself some rules to follow and you’ll be fine. For instance, some people use the “3 Bite Rule”. Allow yourself 3 bites of something – the 1st bite tastes amazing, the 2nd bite is satisfying, and the 3rd bite is the lingering finish. Let yourself enjoy the holidays without regret in January!

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