Updated: Mar 2
The holiday season is upon us and everyone begins dreading those 5-10 pounds they will inevitably put on. But you don’t have to! You can survive the holidays without gaining weight if you attack it with rigor and planning. Here are some tips to help you achieve this.
Keep a food journal
November and December, more than any other time of year, it’s important to be conscious of what you are eating. Tempting, unhealthy food becomes available at every turn. You may think twice about popping it into your mouth if you know you have to go write it down. Keeping a journal will also help you look back over the day and see where you slipped so you may have that extra motivation to go for veggies at dinner!
Create memories, not pounds
Keep the focus on your family and friends, not on food and drinks. Create memories by DOING things, not just eating things. Take the time to get into some deep conversations with those people you often only see once a year—and it’s easier to talk when you don’t have food in your mouth.
Have a plan
Look at a week at a time, plan your "cheat meals" and eat healthy around them. Think about how you are going to get through each day, when you will indulge and when you will hold strong. When you plan your indulgences, it is much easier to say no. Also be prepared for stress eating! This is often a stressful time, so find other ways to take out your stress, like a massage or exercising.
Up the exercise routine
Now is not the time to let your exercise routine fall apart. Get an accountability partner (even if he/she is afar) and make it a priority! Plan a week at a time and remember you can still exercise if you are traveling! Up the intensity when you work to burn off some of those extra calories you are eating.
While you shouldn’t deprive yourself, you also don’t have to taste everything available. Think about what foods you LOVE. Eat that and enjoy it! Then you can skip over the store-bought cookies or cheap munchies without a second thought.
Don’t go hungry
Keep to a normal eating routine of healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. There will always be unhealthy options to fill you up, so keep healthy snacks with you and you’ll be less tempted. Especially if you know you have a dinner or party to go to in the evening, don’t starve yourself during the day.
Share the sweets
When your neighbor gives you that package of fudge or cookies, put a few in the freezer, keep a couple to eat, and give the rest away! Share the love, remove temptation, and cut down on the amount of baking you have to do yourself. It’s a win-win situation.
Bring the veggies and protein
Don’t be afraid to be the person who brings veggies to a party, or a cheese and meats tray. Everyone likes them and that way you’ll know for sure there will be veggies and protein you can eat without binging on sweets and salts.
Don’t deprive yourself, but go slow
You can’t expect to not eat anything unhealthy during the holidays, that will just make you miserable! But don’t scarf it down. Savor every bite and enjoy the flavors. This will help you eat less and still not feel deprived.
Don’t take leftovers
If you are eating Thanksgiving or Christmas meals at someone else’s house, don’t take home any leftovers and it’ll be that much easier for you to jump back into your regular eating routine. If you have it at your house, give away some of those leftovers!
Watch the alcohol
Alcohol is just empty calories, and a lot of them. Try to keep it to one drink a week, and enjoy it! You can also try a wine spritzer, half wine diluted with soda water and some lemon, and you’ll cut your calories in half.
Don’t beat yourself up
So you overate at that party, don’t waste time worrying about it, just start the next day fresh! Refocus, think about your goals, and make good choices today! Fitness is a journey, keep moving forward.