Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain Isn’t ‘Mission: Impossible’

Christmas cookies

Ah, the holidays… Shopping trips. Brightly wrapped gifts. Twinkling lights. Family gatherings. Parties. It’s the time of year when all good intentions to stave off impending holiday weight gain are challenged by cookie exchanges, potlucks, dessert buffets and specialty drinks.

Groan.

Having the willpower to combat what seems like the inevitable can feel like a daunting task. But, it doesn’t have to be Mission: Impossible.

If you’re currently exercising, make sure to stick to your schedule. No matter how difficult it is. It’s worth it to go to your Wednesday night yoga class and be late to a party than to regret not hitting the gym later. Literally.  Put gym time on your calendar. Now. If you don’t, you’ll just push it off as something that’s not important or flat out forget about it. You know I’m right.

Don’t have a current fitness program going on? Well, why not start one? Here’s an idea: Instead of heading to the mall with girlfriends for last-minute shopping and lunch, make a plan to meet for a yoga class. Or Zumba. Or go for a run or hike.

So, what about those parties, potlucks, get-togethers, and buffets? I know how easy it is to go overboard when there are so many delicious-looking food options. And I know all the rationalizations going through your head right now:

“But, it’s the holidays!”
“I only do this once a year.”
“Just one more bite.”
“I’ll hurt great-aunt Mary’s feelings if I don’t have a piece of her pie.”

Here are my 2 “Avoid Holiday Weight Gain” tricks for party-goers.

Avoid Holiday Weight Gain Tip #1:  Eat before you go.

If you know you’ll be tempted by all the amazing items on the buffet table, eat a little something before you go, preferably something with fat and protein to help you feel satisfied. Think hard-boiled egg or half an avocado and a handful of nuts. Then, when you arrive, choose only a few items to sample.

Avoid Holiday Weight Gain Tip #2:  If you’re not enjoying it, stop eating it.

If you accidentally load up your plate with way more than you can eat – we’ve all been there, done that – make a pact with yourself that if, after the first bite, it’s not as good as you expected it to be, you’ll stop eating it. Think about it – food should be enjoyable. If you’re not enjoying it, stop eating it!

The key to you being successful is knowing how badly you want it. Is that third piece of pie worth the bloated feeling you’ll have in an hour? Or the guilty feeling you’ll have tomorrow for not hitting the gym for a week? Or the anger you’ll feel toward yourself after the holidays?

Think about it. What is it that you want and how badly do you want it? And, more importantly, what are you willing to sacrifice to get it?

How do you avoid holiday weight gain? Is it possible? Or an impossible mission? Tell us in the comments. 

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