How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

shutterstock_90373468The holidays are a magical, happy time of family, friends, and…fat. ’Tis the season for get-togethers and lots of delicious treats.

Unfortunately, once the decorations are all packed away and the festivities are over, those extra pounds you gained don’t just disappear.

Nobody wants to start the new year with extra pounds to lose. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of 7 tips for keeping the extra weight off this season.

1. Track Your Progress

Weighing yourself during the holidays may be dreadful, but it’s one of the best ways to make sure you’re not overindulging.

Step on the scale twice a week to keep yourself motivated. Doing this every day can make you crazy, so stick to two weigh-ins a week to avoid obsessing.

2. Make the Most of the Mornings

According to recent research, exercising in the morning encourages healthy habits all day. A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise focused on brain scans of women, they found that women who worked out in the morning tended to move more throughout the day and were less tempted by pictures of food.

3. Choose Wisely

Attempting to make it through the season without enjoying any bad-for-you foods is unrealistic and may actually result in holiday weight gain.

Instead of completely depriving yourself, stick to the foods you really love and avoid the rest. Enjoy these dishes in moderation and you’ll find yourself less likely to binge on junk later.

4. Don’t Save Up

There’s a misconception that if you starve yourself all day, you can eat whatever you want that evening because you “saved” your calories. Being healthy is about more than the sheer number of calories you take in; it’s about the source of those calories.

Additionally, going hungry results in overdoing it later. Instead of skipping meals, eat healthy foods throughout the day to prevent holiday weight gain.

5. Find Time for Fitness

The holidays are jammed with parties and to-do lists. So much so that you may not have time for your favorite fitness class. Even so, don’t skip working out altogether.

Just 15 minutes on the treadmill or a quick yoga session at home can help you maintain progress.

6. Kiss Leftovers Goodbye

Holiday food tends to linger, especially if you host the festivities at your own house. Distribute the leftovers between all your guests to take home so that you aren’t tempted to snack on them for days after the party.

7. Drink Some Water

Sounds crazy, but consuming water-rich foods helps you reach your water intake goals when you simply don’t have time to chug eight glasses of water. These foods (think a salad with avocado, fruit, etc.) keep you hydrated so your body continues to function well.

With these tips, it’s possible to stop holiday weight gain in its tracks. Practice moderation and don’t deprive yourself, and you’ll be happy with the results when January rolls around.