5 Ways To Avoid Gaining Weight This Holiday Season

5 Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight This Holiday Season

It's finally here! 'Tis the season to string up those lights, start bumping your favorite holiday tunes and enjoy some quality time with your loved ones. I don't know about you, but I'm extra ready for the holiday season this year. It just feels right to cozy up by the fire under the glow of a big Christmas tree, you know?

Clearly, I'm all about layering on those big, soft layers during the winter. But sweater weather can be a little dangerous, right? Once you're hiding your body under chunky knits —not to mention scarves and jackets — it gets a little more tempting to let your diet and exercise routine slide. Pair that with the busyness that this time of year always brings and, yeah, it's not easy.

But we've got this! We've done too much freaking work this year to feel our best to let it all slide now. I do NOT want to feel like I'm starting on square one in January, and I bet you feel the same. So I rounded up five things we can all do to avoid gaining weight this holiday season.

Sip smartly

Girl, I know how tempting that sugary holiday cocktail looks. But there's just no reason to drink your calories. Seriously, those drinks will go down easy and leave you consuming way more than you meant to. I mean, one cup of eggnog can have literally twice as many calories as a cookie!

Now, don't get me wrong. I am definitely not advocating for a dry or boring holiday season. I'm just saying to be smart about what you choose to sip on. A glass of red wine is probably a much better option than that ultra-sugary punch.

You didn't think I was gonna leave you hanging here, did you? Not drinking your calories doesn't have to mean skipping fun drinks. I've got five low-cal, festive cocktails to put in rotation this winter, from pumpkin punch to cranberry mules.

And, as a friendly reminder (to myself as much as to you!), limiting yourself to a drink or two at any given holiday event is much better for your overall health.

Choose active events

A fun night with your family and friends doesn't have to mean sitting around eating and imbibing. And getting out and getting moving together can create some new traditions that will be great for everyone!

Instead of a cocktail party, consider having everyone bring a mug to your house. Fill them up with a hot drink, then hit your neighborhood to stroll around and look at holiday lights. Add an ice skating or sledding day and you'll find ways to burn calories and celebrate the season at the same time!

Don't pack your plate

At holiday potlucks and buffets, we all do a thing. We put the first few things that look good on our plate. But then we keep looking and find more and more tasty, tempting stuff. And by the time we're at the end of the line, we've got a heaping plateful.

You don't want to look wasteful, so you put yourself in a tricky situation that way. But this doesn't have to be the norm!

For starters, before you head down the buffet line, scan all your options first.

Then, when you do start fixing your plate, take small portions. It might be hard, but you can do it! Go sit and eat all of that food, then wait 15 minutes. If you're still hungry, by all means, get more! But the odds are high that you'll be totally satisfied — with a little room left over for that fudge you've been eyeing.

Try on your New Year's outfit regularly

What are you wearing for NYE? If you play to put on a slinky dress or some truly fabulous-and-form-fitting pants, keep that outfit where you can access it. Every week or two, pop it on.

I know it sounds kinda weird, but this can be a great reality check. When you're doing this regularly, you get clued into any changes in your body. That way, if you start to see a little weight gain or loss of muscle definition, you can nip it in the bud before it gets out of control.

Be mindful —when you eat and beyond

I know how tempting it is to grab a cookie when you're walking by a plateful. I also know how easy it is to scarf down a meal while you're chatting with friends without even really tasting the food.

In this busy, often-stressful season, I think a lot of us consume calories we don't even enjoy because we're rushing or distracted. But it's like, if you're going to indulge in that holiday treat, you should really enjoy it!

Try to avoid eating unless you're really going to be able to sit down and savor your food. You'll skip a lot of unnecessary calories that way.

Speaking of mindfulness, it's a tool you can use way beyond mealtime. When we get stressed during the holiday season, it's really easy to turn to food and drink for comfort. So a mindful practice to help you moderate your stress can make a huge difference, both in your weight and in how you feel through this potentially hectic time of year.

The holidays are here, my friends! It's a time to enjoy, for sure. With these trusty tips by your side, you can live it up without making choices you're going to regret come January.

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