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Stay in shape for Christmas: 6 Nutrition Tips to Keep the Holiday Pounds Off

Christmas may be one of the merriest times of the year, but for anyone trying to stay fit and healthy, it can also be a terrifying time. Christmas tends to include fattening foods and a lot of sitting around. It’s not the most diet-friendly holiday, especially when you think of all the candy, Christmas cookies, pies, and other desserts that are always hanging around parties, offices, and even in your own house.

However, it’s not impossible to maintain your diet goals during Christmas, so much time as you are dedicated and diligent. If you’re trying to stay on track this Christmas, here are six tips to help you out:

  1. Make a Plan – This might sound obvious, but the best way to make sure you stick to your diet or exercise regime is to make a plan. Figure out what you want to accomplish throughout the holiday season, whether it means staying the same weight, losing a few pounds, or increasing your exercise sessions.
  2. Find Healthy Food Alternatives – Whenever families come together, there’s always an abundance of food, and it’s rarely healthy food. Aside from traditional gourmet holiday dinners, weeks spent with families include a lot of eating out and ordering in. Try to put a positive spin on this by ordering from healthier restaurants, starting with salads, or volunteering to help put together healthy meals. You can also find healthier snacks low in calories and high in nutrition, such as popcorn, nuts, and berries to munch on instead.
  3. Don’t Deprive Yourself – The easiest way to binge and end up in a sugar coma is by completely depriving yourself of all your favorite foods. Do you love pumpkin pie? Cut yourself some slack and have a piece. Make small sacrifices like skipping the whipped cream or extra gourmet Christmas cookie, instead.
  4. Get Inventive – Holidays can suck a lot of time out of your exercise schedule, so you’ll want to find more creative ways to exercise. When shopping, park far away to encourage walking. Also, be sure to take the stairs over elevators or escalators. If you’re in a store that offers carts, grab a basket instead (if you can fit everything inside).
  5. Schedule Exercise Times – It’s easy to skip exercising when the family is in town. Making sure your schedule exercise on your calendar is the best way to ensure you keep up with your workouts. Even if you can’t make your Pilates class, you can be sure to do some type of exercise at home.
  6. Skip or Reduce Your Alcohol Intake – One of the easiest ways to rack up calories is through drinking alcohol. During the holidays, it’s easy to drink more beers, cocktails, or glasses of wine than usual. You don’t have to skip alcohol altogether, but limit yourself to only a couple, while sipping water in between.

Don’t fret this holiday season. It’s easy to stay on track once you’re aware of what your biggest food and exercise struggles are.