10 Tips to Control Your Weight This Holiday Season

The holiday season wreaks havoc on our bodies. Stress and irregular sleep messes with our workout routine. Plus there is tempting food everywhere beckoning us and calling our names. From Halloween to New Year's Day the average weight gain is about 5 to 7 pounds. Unfortunately that weight doesn't drop off come January. It's like a winter coat that we never shed.

Why do you struggle with weight gain though the holidays? Many challenges exist, such as office potlucks, family gatherings, once-a-year treats, and traditions of over-eating. Take time now to think about your challenges and create new approaches for this holiday season.

Here are the 10 best tips to beat holiday weight gain. Which tips work for you?

10. Prioritize exercise.

Exercise in the morning so you start your day energized with a clear mind. Exercise gives you the mental reminder that you are living a healthy lifestyle, which keeps you on track and focused during the day. Can't swing a morning workout? Plan a lunch-hour workout with colleagues or buddy up to workout before leaving your worksite. Build exercise into your day; schedule it as you would any other commitment.

9. Don't be a caveperson.

Cave people are programmed to eat. Avoid famine and feast cycles by eating regularly throughout the day. It's hard to turn down the extra treats that fill the office this time of year, and when you are tired and starving, they are nearly impossible to resist.

8. Plan ahead.

Understand what food challenges you are facing so that you can make informed decisions. Call friends to see what healthy side dish you can bring to the dinner party. Look up restaurant information before going out to eat. Know when you need to pack a lunch or bring a healthy option to the office potluck.

7. Indulge with full awareness.

If you decide to indulge, do so consciously; make that tasty treat a part of a planned meal or snack. Then you can savor each and every bite.

6. Enhance family favorites.

As you plan your meals and treats for the holiday season, look for creative ways to cut calories and boost nutrients in your favorite recipes.

  • Spice sweet potatoes with nutmeg and cinnamon rather than brown sugar.
  • Make sure to prepare a few vegetable dishes, such as roasted Brussels sprouts, saut?ed spinach and garlic or an arugula salad.
  • Use dried fruit for half the chocolate chips in cookies and pumpkin or banana bread.
  • Cut cookies and bars into smaller bite size pieces.
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