The holiday season creates an additional challenge for maintaining healthy eating habits and it is very important to control your caloric intake during this time. Here are some effective diet and exercise tips to ensure that you stay on track with your fitness plan while also enjoying quality time with your family and friends!
Tip #1. Don’t tell yourself that it’s the holiday season and the weight gain is inevitable. A few splurges here and there are okay, but don’t make it a daily habit to binge eat. Stay focused on your goals and remember what is important to you!
Tip #2. If you must do the traditional holiday dessert baking, don’t keep the baked goods in your house! They will just sit there tempting you. Eat one cookie or one piece of fudge, then wrap the rest up and give them to your friends or neighbors.
Tip #3. Always ask yourself, “Is it really worth it?” Is that cookie really that good, or are you just eating it because it’s there? If you are going to splurge, make sure it’s worth it!
Tip #4. When you throw a holiday party, make healthy recipes and look for low-calorie, low-fat options when preparing your meals. Cooking Light magazine is a favorite resource of mine. They have many easy recipes and they are all delicious!
Tip #5. Stick to your regular meal and snack routine as much as possible. When you are out holiday shopping, take healthy snacks along with you and make smart choices when eating out. Plan ahead for dinners that are healthy and easy to prepare after a long day.
Tip #6. Drink lots of water! Dehydration will only add to your stress and fatigue. Also, most people mistake thirst for hunger. Bring a water bottle along with you in the car and try to drink a liter or two while you drive around and run errands.
Tip #7. Don’t beat yourself up when you do get off track. So you ate too much at Thanksgiving or over-indulged at a holiday party? Maybe you ate too many cookies or candies. It was one day and now it’s over and it’s time to move on!
Tip #8. Bring your own dish to parties. To ensure that you have something healthy to eat during a holiday party, bring an entree that you have prepared yourself. This can be added to the table or buffet and it will ensure that you have something nutritious to eat, no matter what your host is serving.
Tip #9. Eat before going to parties. By eating a healthy meal before you go to a party, you can control your hunger and caloric intake. While you are at the party, snack on healthy vegetables and low-calorie foods. This will help satisfy your urge to snack on junk food while ensuring that you maintain a calorie controlled diet.
Tip #10. Allow yourself to indulge a little. By restricting your diet too much, you may cause yourself to go overboard and binge on foods that are not healthy for you. Remember that all foods are okay to eat in moderation. A small piece of pie or a holiday brownie will not sabotage your diet as long as you are in control of your portion sizes. Allowing yourself to indulge a little will prevent you from over-indulging in foods that will destroy all of your hard-earned success.
Tip #11. Get your workout in. Making sure that you keep up with your workout regimen throughout the holiday season will ensure that you do not gain extra weight during this time. It will also ensure that you burn any excess calories that those holiday treats pack on.
Tip #12. Do not punish yourself for giving In. Even if you had a brownie or two at a holiday party, this is no reason to beat yourself up and go on a massive 2-week junk food bender. You should adjust your exercise to accommodate the additional calories you consumed and then forget about it. Everyone has a treat every now and then. The goal is to avoid going overboard and overeating all of the sugar-laden and high fat cheat foods. Remember, it’s all about portion sizes and control. If you can’t control yourself, then opt for a healthier option.
Tip #13. Balance your diet with nutrient dense low-calorie foods. If you indulge too much at one meal, it is not the end of the world. You can compensate by eating low-calorie foods in place of your typical snack and working out a little harder the next day. Just because you have indulged too much does not mean that you should punish yourself and keep eating unhealthy food.
Tip #14. Track your diet. Keeping a food journal of what you eat will help you learn exactly what you’re consuming and then you can make changes for the better. One of the great things about a diet diary is that it helps you find out what your trigger foods are and how your emotions play into your eating habits. Was there a specific food or snack that made you overeat? Were you happy, sad, depressed or anxious during a specific meal that made you choose unhealthy high calorie foods? Documenting all of your food intake, thoughts and emotions is why a food journal is so beneficial to your success!
Tip #15. Live a little and have fun! Just because you are on a diet does not mean that you have to stop living. Adjusting your lifestyle, being aware of your own actions and avoiding junk food binges will ensure that you enjoy your holidays while staying on track with your fitness plan.