The holidays are always a wonderful excuse to get together with family and friends for quality time and festive fun. However, we all know that holiday activities are often centered around big meals, sweet treats and adult beverages.

While you may be tempted to just count November and December as a loss and pick back up the healthy habits in January, there is another way. You can have your cake and eat it too, without surrendering to the typical holiday weight gain. Just follow these steps!

Keep active

Staying active during this season is particularly important. Not only will exercise help counteract any over indulging, it will also keep you from snacking on leftovers, at least for an hour or so. 

If you don’t want to lose time with family, turn it into a group activity. Go for a long walk together around the neighborhood, play a game of flag football in the backyard, or do a yoga class together in the living room. Both your body and your relationships will thank you.

Slow the snacking

Leftovers and treats tend to abound near the holidays. If self-restraint isn’t your strong suit, try putting the treats up high or out of sight. Before you reach for a snack, ask yourself if you are really hungry, or just eating because it’s there. 

Eat full, balanced meals so you are less likely to want to snack throughout the day. If you do need a little something between meals to get by, opt for a healthier option like fruit or nuts. When you do want something sweet, just monitor and limit how much. 

Sleep and rest

The busyness of the holiday season can lead to more stress and less sleep, both of which will leave you feeling tired. And when we’re tired, we tend to eat more and workout less. So protect that sleep schedule, and make sure you are getting enough peaceful me time to keep the stress levels down. 

Liquid calories

Wine, hot cocoa and eggnog are holiday staples for most families, but they are mostly empty calories with a lot of sugar. But that doesn’t mean you can enjoy, or should feel guilty for every glass of wine you drink. 

Just try to limit how often, and how much. Pour smaller glasses, and alternate with glasses of water. Set a max for how much you have in one night. And watch out for the late night alcohol-fueled munchies. 

Start early

One of the best things you can do to prevent extra holiday weight gain is to start preparing a couple weeks before. Step up your workout routine and water intake at least a week before your holiday gatherings. You should also eat healthy meals and limit sweets and alcohol. 

Following healthier habits leading up to the holiday indulgences will help your body balance out the extra intake of calories.

Stick to it

Babes, you can do this. Have that cookie and a mug of hot cocoa, just balance it out with plenty of healthy foods and exercise. As long as you commit to these tips, and say no to the occasional dessert or cocktail, there’s no reason you can’t beat the extra holiday weight gain.

December 08, 2020 — Kristin Reichert

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