9 Things to do to avoid packing on the holiday pounds

Maintaining your results over the holiday season doesn’t have to be complicated.

Here are some habits clients have found helpful to implement to stay on track and set themselves up for success in the new year. Pick the ones that resonate with you and see how it impacts your holiday season this year!

  1. Bring a healthy dish to a holiday party
    That way, you know there will be a good option to enjoy amidst all the treats.
  2. Don’t go into a party hungry
    My clients find that if they have a protein snack before attending an event, they aren’t as hungry and can make better decisions around the food table. Having a snack in your bag with you at all times is a great way to tide yourself over if you don’t love your food options for the time being.
  3. Prioritize getting 7-9 hours of sleep
    Research has shown that if we don’t get enough sleep, we don’t make as good of choices and end up storing more fat from overeating (thanks, hormones). Getting enough rest is a simple way to set our minds and bodies up for success during what could be a stressful time.
  4. Carry a cup of water with you at your event
    If you don’t have a drink, it can be easy for people to keep offering you calorie-packed beverages. If you have one in your hand already, you avoid the offers and drink unnecessary sugar and carbs.
  5. Identify what is important to you to get out of special holiday celebrations
    If you mindfully approach a celebration like Thanksgiving or Christmas, you may find that food isn’t the absolute center of your attention (many times connecting with people is). Pick the foods you want to enjoy for sure, but when you identify those it’s easier to say no to the things that won’t make the memories feel more special.
  6. If the holidays bring a lot of stress, practice stress management techniques.
    It can be easy to turn to food and drinks when feeling stressed, but there are lots of other practices that are much more helpful. Journaling, going for a brisk walk, talking to a friend, praying or meditating, yoga, petting your dog and even diaphragmatic breathing goes a long way to reducing stress.
  7. Eat protein and veggies the day leading up to a celebratory meal.
    Instead of trying to save your calories for the big event and overeating, fill your body with the nutrients it needs. You can save more carbs and fat for later in the day if desired, but since protein and veggies are typically tougher to get at holiday events, do yourself a favor and fuel up.
  8. Leave the treats at the party
    A big mistake I see people make is stretching out treat meals past the event. If we don’t want to be tempted all week with leftover treats, don’t bring them home. If it’s in the house, it’s going to get eaten, so save yourself the stress and leave the treats at the holiday meal.
  9. Get some sort of movement in
    Getting any type of movement in can go a long way in wanting to make better decisions for the rest of the day. Whether it’s a quick Youtube yoga session, a brisk walk, or a CrossFit workout, moving will reduce stress, help you feel more productive, and help you keep the habit of exercise so you don’t feel like you are starting over in January.

Which habits do you want to practice this year?