Five Ways to Keep the Pounds Off This Holiday Season

The holiday season is a trying time for anyone trying to lose weight by joining Weight loss programs. Every weekend is filled with parties, co-workers are constantly bringing goodies into the office, and most families celebrate with heavy meals topped off by a multitude of sweet, fatty desserts. How can anyone hope to maintain their healthy habits when faced with such an onslaught of poor choices disguised as holiday cheer?

Fear not. Here are some tips to keep your efforts from being derailed this holiday season.

Don’t indulge during the entire “holiday season.” Considering that snowmen and Santas appeared in some stores before Halloween this year, I think it’s safe to say that the “holiday season” starts immediately after Halloween and ends around New Year’s Day. That’s a long time to be off the wagon. A two-month indulgence can set you back for months afterward. Weight always seems to go on much easier than it comes off. Enjoy a special celebration with family and friends, but don’t give yourself a free pass every time someone brings a plate of cookies to the office.

Exercise! Even a 10-minute walk will help you feel better and more energetic, and it will make it easier to resist the tempting treats that seem to be everywhere you go. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes three times a week and increase the amount as you go. You’ll feel great and have plenty of energy for holiday shopping!

At parties, socialize away from the food. Find a place on the other side of the room and stay there. You’re a lot less likely to graze. Make sure to eat something with protein and fiber before you go, so you’ll feel full when faced with sweet treats and bring a healthy dish to share. That way, you have a healthy option. If you can’t resist the festive fare, choose one or two indulgences, eat half, and enjoy it slowly. Share the other half with someone or throw it out.

When dealing with the aunt or mother who insists on you trying everything they baked, fried, or covered with frosting, trying to politely refuse the plate they shove in your hands is next to impossible. You should, of course, try to be polite for the sake of the holidays, but if they aren’t taking the hint, you may have to give in. Ask to bring it home, and throw it out.

If you are the one preparing the meal, make some healthy substitutions. Choose a low-fat protein like turkey, chicken, or pork and prepare a couple of different sides of steamed veggies. Swap sweet potatoes for the heavy, butter-laden mashed potatoes and make your own cranberry sauce. Add whole-grain rolls or bread for fiber. For dessert, stay away from heavy, creamy cakes and cheesecakes and opt for something lighter with a lot of fruit.

The holidays are a great time to spend with friends and family, catching up and celebrating. It doesn’t have to pile on the pounds or negate your hard work. Stay conscious of your choices and keep active, and most of all, enjoy yourself. Happy Healthy Holidays!