6 Strategies for Getting Through the Holidays

better health thru nutritionWhether you’re working with a weight loss clinic or dieting on your own, the holidays can be a challenging time of year. While holiday meals and parties offer much temptation to indulge, with a little bit of forethought and willpower, you can enjoy your holidays without sacrifice and still stay on track with your weight loss plan.

Here are 10 strategies for keeping holiday weight gain at bay this year:

1. Load up on lean protein. Eat lean protein-rich meals every day to keep you fuller longer and help build muscle mass. This is important for weight loss because the greater our body’s muscle mass, the more calories we burn on a daily basis.

2. Don’t skip meals. Many of us get in the habit of skipping meals to “save up” the calories for events and holiday meals. This is a bad practice—it slows down your metabolism and sets you up for a binge-fest later. Eat protein- and fiber-rich meals throughout the day to stay healthy and prevent overeating.

3. Track it. One of the best ways to stay in line with your weight loss plan is to keep a diary of everything you consume—and that includes all drinks, condiments and even that spoonful of cookie dough you sampled while doing your holiday baking. Writing it down helps us be realistic about how much we’re eating so that we don’t go overboard.

4. Keep moving. Whatever you do, don’t stop exercising during the holidays. Put your workouts into your calendar or smartphone schedule and stick to those appointments. If you’re going to a party, be sure to get a workout in that day to help offset the extra calories you may consume later on. In addition, squeeze physical activity in wherever you can—walk to your errands and to do your holiday shopping.

5. BYOF. Bring your own healthy dish to meals and parties so that you know there is at least one thing you can fill up on without derailing your diet.

6. Limit the booze. Alcoholic drinks provide empty calories and are often combined with sugar-laden, high calorie mixers. Limit yourself to one or two drinks and make healthy choices, like a glass of wine or something mixed with club soda rather instead of the more fattening options.

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