It’s that time of year again and let’s be real: it’s very difficult to stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan during the holidays. At almost every turn there are tempting foods and drinks – from office party treats to our own traditional family favorites, temptation is abundant.

Now add in a busy schedule with shopping and holiday events that make it a challenge to fit in exercise, and you have a recipe for disaster as far as our scales are concerned.

The good news is that you can avoid going through your own holiday weight disaster. It will take some effort, but you will thank yourself when you get through the holidays and have no regrets.

Your Goal: Maintenance

To make it through the holidays without tipping the scale, your focus is going to be on simply maintaining weight for the next few weeks. Remember: you want to enjoy the holidays, not be miserable from deprivation. Basically you’re going to allow yourself to splurge and have occasional treats, all the while keeping the scale where it is.

Here are a handful of ways to achieve this:

  • Don’t skip your workouts. Moderate intensity workouts can burn 300-400 calories per hour and you’ll need this calorie-burn to keep up with the holiday food you’ll be eating. Resistance training is key as well!
  • Eat breakfast. Start your day off right and get your metabolism going right off the bat.
  • Monitor your hunger. As tempting as it can be to show up to a party or buffet on an empty stomach, you are far more likely to overeat if you do. Drink water and have a light snack like nuts or cheese before arriving.
  • Plan ahead. Pack food for travelling and eat supportive meals around holiday commitments.
  • Keep a food journal. Write down everything you eat or use an app like MyFitnessPal. Keeping a food log will result in better weight control than not using one.
  • Keep moving. Find a way to move everyday. The more activity you can do with your body, the better.
  • Watch your portion size. If you have an idea how much food you are putting on your plate, you will be less likely to overdo it. Take a look at the portion size chart below to give you an idea of portion sizes in relation to your hand. 

You can make it through the holidays with no added weight gain. Keep in mind what you want to feel like on January 1st and remember these tips. Have yourself a great holiday season!

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