‘Tis the season to add a few extra pounds. This time of year is the hardest to stick to your diet and exercise routines. From the yummy foods and pies to the cookie exchanges and parties; from military spouse socials to mom’s home cooking, it is so hard to resist. There is always something to eat and most of the time the foods that are most appealing have the most calories.
Here are 10 strategies for not gaining holiday weight between now and New Year’s Day.
1) Start walking. This is a great way to keep moving. If you can’t exercise in any other way, walking is the way to go. You can also do this with family and friends and make it a group event. Even a simple 15 minute walk around your neighborhood each day will help.
2) Keep your workout routine. If you work out Monday, Wednesday and Friday, keep at that. It might be harder to do if you are traveling but you can adjust. If you don’t have access to a gym, go for a run or find a workout video. There is always something you can do. Make this a priority during the holidays.
3) Stick to 1 serving. On Christmas you will see a lot of food in front of you. You should stick to only 1 serving of everything. That means not going back for seconds or thirds even if other people are. Tell yourself ahead of time that you are only going to fill your plate once.
4) Stay away from the cookies. This is a hard one. Holiday sweets add up and that is definitely my own downfall. Try to stick to only eating them on occasion and not every single day. If you bake, try to give away a lot of your goodies before you have a chance to eat them.
5) Stay active. Plan events that get you moving. Go to a museum or even a mall. Anywhere you can walk around will work. You can even plan a lot of outside events if you live in a warmer climate.
6) Stay away from fast food. It is always a good idea to eat fast food in moderation but staying away from it all together during the holidays is a great way to stay healthy. You want to save the calories you will be eating for Grandma’s homemade pie instead of a burger and fries.
7) Know your calories. If you know you will be going to a lot of potlucks, do some research about common holiday foods and how many calories are in each dish. Know what would be the better choices before you get there. That will make it easier for you to pick the healthy choices.
8) Eat before you go. If you have plans to go to a potluck and you know there will only be foods there you shouldn’t eat, make a healthy meal beforehand and go to the party to socialize. Make sure you are full and won’t want to eat too much.
9) Watch the alcohol. Alcoholic drinks can have a lot of calories. Limit yourself and remember that every drink you have will add to your calorie intake.
10) Don’t beat yourself up. It can be hard to stick to a strict diet this time of year. Do the best that you can with each day.