The holidays are fast approaching.  Office parties and family gatherings are being planning and the menus are being set.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Right?  Well for some, this time of the year may also be the most challenging as they want to maintain and not gain weight.  Studies have shown that many people gain weight during the holiday time.  They find it challenging to push back from all of the festive eating, maintaining a fitness regimen while travel and shopping, and keeping stress levels down too.  

Now is not the time to throw all of your hard work down the drain.   It’s time to put strategies in place to ensure that after the holidays you can step on that scale and be proud that you survived the holiday celebrations.  Check out my tips for preventing weight gain this holiday.

Tip #1:  Stick to Your Regular Meal Plan Schedule

Ok, you may have looked at this tip’s title at first glance and probably scratched you head and thought, “Huh??”  So let me quickly explain.  This tip works not only during the holidays but for days you might go out to eat with family and/or friends for an evening dinner.  Usually holiday dinners aren’t until late afternoon.  Therefore, from morning to the time leading up to the dinner event, you can eat your regularly scheduled meals.  If you are out of town, do your best to stay on track. When ordering breakfast, opt for healthy menu choices that are close to what you would normally have.  Keep healthy snacks handy and even carry them with you so that you do not get caught up in mindless snacking.  Sticking to your regular regimen is a great way to also prevent overeating.  It’s like grocery shopping on an empty stomach, a true set up for making poor decisions that don’t support your goals.  Be prepared!

Tip #2:  Keep Your Fitness Regimen

During the holiday often times we end up eating more calories than we burn.  It will be important to keep your fitness regimen going.  If you know you are going to visit family or they are coming to visit you, make time to get active.  Get your family involved if they are willing.  Either way you have goals to achieve, let nothing stop you daily routine.  Be determined!  Crunched for time go for a brisk 30 minute walk in your neighborhood or head to the gym.  After the holiday hop back on your regimen and keep going.  However you get your fit time in, do it!  Don’t waste your hard earned work you put in to losing weight and staying healthy be in vain for a few days of indulgence.

Tip #3 No Doggie-Bags Please!

During the holidays when attending an event we like to wrap up food to take home.  Better yet, if attending a family members house we will come with our own food containers to take food home.  If you’ve already indulged in foods that may not be the best choice for your health and fitness goals, you don’t want to increase your pounds with a second day of indulgence by bringing food home.So, if you are visiting someone for the holidays, enjoy your meal, take a deep breath, remember this article (LOL) and opt to not take food home (no doggie bags).   

Tip #4 Increase Your Protein Intake

As you fix your plate to get your eat on, be sure to include a portion of protein with your holiday meals.Increasing your protein will reduce hunger and spikes in your appetite.  Protein will make you feel fuller and it will aid in weight maintenance.  So go for it!

Tip #5 More Fiber Please!

Opt for more food that is high in fiber such as fruits and veggies.  Foods high in fiber can aid in reducing the amount of calories consumed, which be great to avoid holiday weight gain.

Tip #6  Be Mindful of Portion Sizes

Of course you may be excited about the holiday dishes that only come around during the holidays, BEWARE.  Be conscious of the portion sizes you place on your plate.  Use your judgement based on your normal non-holiday portions.  Again, don’t let your hard work be in vain and you gain unnecessary pounds.

Tip #7 “Take Human Bites”

I use to laugh when I was a youngster when my auntie would repeat a popular saying from a commercial.  When I would sit down to eat, I would get to it gobbling down my food with wonders if I even swallow it.  She would look at me, chuckle, and say, “Take human bites!”  She was signaling me to slow down and enjoy my food.  Did you know that slowing down to and savoring every bite of your meal aides in weight-loss?  Yes, we know when food is good, we want to “go in” and get our eat on!  But it’s not the best way to go.  Slowing down will give your body a chance to recognize when it’s full.  This tip is a great way to prevent overeating.  Try it!

Tip #8 Avoid Being Socially Influenced

Often times family and friends may encourage you to eat more.  They may say something like, “Go on girl and eat more, it won’t hurt you.”  or “Your diet can wait, it’s the holidays!”  Please know that it’s ok to respectfully decline.  Your body will that you later.  No one knows your goals that you have set for yourself better than you.  Stand strong in your decision of being full and satisfied.

Tip #9 Water, Water, & More Water

Water will give you a feeling of being full, decrease sugar cravings, and aid in the consumption of less calories.  Choose water over other beverages that are high in sugar.

Tip #10 Limit Your Alcohol Consumption

Excessive drinking will result in weight gain and the consumption of empty calories.  If you must have a drink, opt for a glass of wine with your holiday meal.  But water will be your best choice to stay on track with your health and fitness goals.

Your success is ultimately up to you.  These tips are definitely a great way to have continued success.  You don’t have to go into the new year being back at square one.  Enjoy the holidays!  

Need help jumpstarting your journey?  Interested in a new approach that is changing how women think about food and fitness?  Click here for your FREE Power Chat with me.

Tiffany D. Kelly is a Christian Weight-loss and  Motivational Coach who has won the weight-loss battle by losing over 80 lbs and successfully beaten high blood pressure.  She helps women believe again in their ability to WIN on the journey to living healthy and fit through coaching programs, motivational talks, and workshops.



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