Holiday Celebration Survival Kit: Tips to Help You Thrive!

11/27/2012

Let’s face it, getting through the holidays without weight gain can be a challenge. Even those innocent treats can turn into a five-pound weight change if you’re not careful.  Here’s the takeaway you must remember: there are creative ways to survive the holidays but you have to set some ground rules. Setting ground rules is very important to managing calorie traps, limiting sweets, and refusing to give into temptation.

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You don't have to give up on your healthy lifestyle, just because you're cooking for the whole family

Survival Tip #1:

Know your limits.  Of course I know my limits you say but the reality is most of us let our guard down when holiday celebrations start. If you know the portion size of your typical dessert, stick to it even during the holidays. As long as you maintain the same portion size you can enjoy different kinds of foods. However, once you reach your portion limit, that’s it – seriously. This exercise of discipline isn’t easy but if you practice regularly, you’ll be all set going into the thick of holiday celebrations. 

Survival Tip #2:

Don’t skimp on exercise. Studies show that for the last few months of the year regular exercise falls off the radar. Maybe you feel that too. Perhaps a recent family visit left you physically and mentally exhausted and the last thing on your mind is exercise. Unfortunately, when you skip exercise your stress level increases, often leading to overeating or in some cases under-eating. Whatever the case, make your exercise a priority and you’ll get those extra endorphins to fuel the hectic holidays. 

Survival Tip #3:

Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables. It can be tricky to have fresh produce on hand at all times that’s why I recommend you keep some basics stocked in your freezer. Frozen broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, blueberries, bananas, and strawberries are ideal staples in your kitchen. In the above example, buy everything organic except the bananas. The beauty of this tip is that you’ll avoid throwing food out and you’ll be able to whip up a quick (and healthy) power snack or meal in a pinch. 

Survival Tip #4:

Avoid shopping during your trigger zones. If you tend to reach for those unhealthy snacks between 1-3 p.m. don’t shop during this time! In fact, schedule your holiday shopping directly after a balanced meal. Any shopping time after your meal will keep you from reaching for sugary, calorie-loaded traps in the mall. Practice this tip and you’ll be sure to avoid holiday weight gain.

Survival Tip #5:

Watch the caffeine. I’m not a coffee hater (I drink it!) but here’s one thing I know for sure. Too much coffee can affect the amount of water you drink. Your body needs water to avoid fluid retention (that mysterious 5 lb. weight gain), muscle recovery, and toxin removal. If and when you drink coffee, aim for 2-3 cups of water for every cup of coffee you drink. Limit your coffee intake to 1-2 cups as well.  

It is possible to enjoy your holiday celebration with these do-able ground rules. Get ready for a New Year by making your survival kit work for you now! Share it with a friend or family member and increase your odds of success too!

Want to know some habits you should never break?  Read my tips


As a 4-time mom, I understand the many demands and challenges that come with raising a family and trying to get or stay fit. I've developed programs for pre-conception, pregnancy and post-pregnancy as well as preparing for and recovering from challenges like medical procedures.
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