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As the holidays get closer, you feel an overwhelming feeling of joy knowing what they bring. You will get to spend more time with your family, hopefully, be able to take some time off work, and participate in your annual traditions that occur around this time. Unfortunately, another thing that tends to happen every year during the holiday season is dealing with stress, parties, food, and weight gain. 

Whether you are trying to lose weight or simply avoid weight gain, the holidays can be a real struggle. So many of the parties, activities, and traditions involve food, and usually not healthy options. This makes it feel as if avoiding weight gain is completely a lost cause as you try to get through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah if that is what you celebrate. 

Luckily, hope is not lost. There are still some ways you can avoid gaining weight and even lose a few pounds during the holiday season. Follow these tips and suggestions, and remember that you don’t have to be miserable during the holidays or feel like you are being left out just because you don’t want to gain weight.

Start eating healthy before the holidays

One of the hardest things to do is actually start eating healthy right when the holidays begin. If you are not in the practice of watching what you eat, looking at portions and trying to hold off on certain types of foods and sweets, it can be a real challenge to avoid holiday weight gain. Instead of waiting until the holidays have already started to rethink how you eat and what your diet should consist of, start eating healthy well before they begin.

It is never too soon to start eating better, so start today. Stop waiting until the perfect day of the week, the first day of the month, or the new year. Do you know what happens when you wait until January 1st? Not only have you gained weight over the holidays so that you have more weight to lose, but you might have been drinking and partying on New Years’ Eve, so the last thing you want to do is get up to exercise and start your brand new healthy life on the first. This starts a really bad habit of constantly trying to find the perfect day.

Start right now looking up what healthy eating lifestyle you want to follow, get some recipes created, and don’t hesitate to make the switch to a healthier lifestyle. Get your family involved, and it will be that much easier!

Focus on health, not on 'dieting'

Another thing you may struggle with when the holidays begin is feeling like you are missing out when you can’t eat what everyone else is eating. If this is one of your biggest problems, then what you want to do is change your entire thought process. You are probably under the misconception that avoiding weight gain and being healthy means starving yourself and doing without. You don’t have to live on water and carrot sticks just to lose weight or avoid weight gain when Christmas is around the corner.

Don’t think about this as a “diet”, since that seems to be a dirty word that can give you the wrong impression. Instead, tell yourself you are going to be healthier during the holiday season and really focus on that.

Get plenty of exercise throughout the holidays

What you eat isn’t the only thing that is going to keep you from holiday weight gain. You also need to focus on getting regular physical activity. Gaining weight usually comes from eating more than you burn each day, so you want to burn as many calories as you can. Plus, with regular exercise, you are getting more energy, boosting your metabolism, and boosting your mood, all of which can keep you from emotional eating during the holiday season. Here are some tips for getting more exercise during the holidays.

Take advantage of opportunities to burn more calories

There may be times when you have a really good opportunity to burn some more calories, so you should definitely take advantage. Here are some opportunities you don’t want to miss:

  • Use the stairs instead of an escalator or elevator
  • Park further away from stores in the parking lot
  • Walk during your breaks at work
  • Walk laps through the mall instead of just going to the stores you are shopping at
  • Take your dogs for longer walks than usual in the evening

Cook alternatives to your traditional favourites

If you are planning Christmas dinner or trying to think of some fun treats for your kids during the holiday season, you might find yourself faced with a dilemma. You want to eat a traditional dinner, but you don’t want all the added calories that go along with it. This is a time when you need to choose alternatives to your favorites. You can still have all the sides you normally would prepare with your Christmas ham, but just re-think it a little bit. This is where focusing on health really comes into play to avoid holiday weight gain. Here are some different ideas to try out.

Be careful with holiday parties

Finally, let’s take a moment to discuss what you are going to do when invited to holiday parties. It isn’t just dinner on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day that you need to be concerned with. You might also be invited to an office party, block parties, or holiday parties, friends or loved ones are throwing. This usually means fried appetizers, big meals, and calorie-filled cocktails. If you still want to attend, here are some helpful tips for surviving them without gaining weight.

  • Choose your cocktails wisely
  • Eat a healthy meal before attending
  • Put appetizers on a small plate
  • meet new people

 

I know that education without action is useless! Grab this free guide that breaks these suggestions down into actionable steps so that you can put this into practice and have your healthiest holiday yet!