Everyone tends to splurge a bit during the holiday season. It is a time for enjoying friends and family, not focusing on counting calories. Ill admit, I tend to indulge a bit more around the holiday season, but Ive found ways to enjoy the weeks leading up to the new year without going overboard. These tips allow me to minimize my holiday weight gain without feeling deprived or as if I am missing out on any festivities.

What do I do during the holiday season to keep weight gain in check and stay health focused?

Portion Out Indulgences

One of the easiest ways Ive found to control calories during the holiday season is to create smaller portion sizes of my favorite holiday treats. Instead of leaving the cookie jar on the counter through the holiday season making it easy to grab a treat every time I walk by I store the cookies in a tight-fitting metal container out of sight from my daily activities. At the start of each day, Ill choose one or two cookies, set them aside, and savor them at just the right part of the day. This way I do not lose count of how many Im eating and Im actually able to take time to enjoy the treats.

Offset the High Calorie Food and Holiday Stress with Exercise

One of my favorite things to do during the hectic holiday season is fit in a good workout. I prefer yoga, but any type of exercise works. I also like to step up the length of my workout during the holiday season, but upping the intensity works just as well. The goal is to burn a few more calories than usual to offset the treats you enjoy.

A good workout not only helps burn extra calories, it relieves stress. Things tend to get busy around the holidays, even if you try to keep things simple, so a good workout helps you re-focus and burn off steam. I love to begin my day with a workout, so I already have a few extra deposits in the calorie bank.

Find Lower Calorie Alternative for Treats

As difficult as it might be to believe, there are delicious alternatives to many of your favorite treats. Ive set aside a little time this holiday season to create a few cleaned up versions of my holiday favorites. Swapping healthier ingredients has a big impact on the calories in recipes, but it might not alter the taste in any noticeable way.

Avoid Drinking Your Calories

Some people like to imbibe a bit during the holiday seasons. Even if they do not drink alcohol, there are high-calorie non-alcoholic drinks available that can wreak havoc and cause holiday weight gain. One of the best tricks Ive found for avoiding weight gain around this time of year is to save most of my calories for the food I want to eat. And if I do want to drink something indulgent, Ill cut back on a portion size or another treat during the day to balance things out.

Start the New Year Right

Unfortunately, no matter how hard some people try, the holidays can be their calorie down fall. It is important to enjoy the holiday season and not spend too much time counting calories, but if you lose control and overindulge, do not despair.

The New Year is a perfect time to refocus on healthy goals. Plan a detox for the first few days of the start of the year. Set aside some time before December 31 to shop for healthy fruits and vegetables, so your refrigerator is fully stocked on day one. Ive found looking forward to a healthy detox even reminds me in the days leading up to the New Year to go easy on the sweets and other treats.

Hopefully you are able to keep your holiday festivities under control and you are not faced with holiday weight gain. We wish you the best of luck with your health goals this holiday season and we hope to see you next year for more great information about living your best life!