Don’t Wait Till New Year’s to Beat the Holiday Bulge!

Christmas and New Year’s is right around the corner and we know what that means…lots of food and little to no exercise! What comes next? Everyone in the gym on January 2nd exercising like their life depends on it, only to drop off the radar come March. Instead of taking this approach, why not start now? Sure, the holidays are a difficult time with all the tempting cookies and casseroles floating around. However, there are ways you can take charge and not miss out on the holiday fun.

1) Create a Plan of Attack

You know you’re going to Aunt Sandy’s house for Christmas dinner and you’re supposed to bring along a dish. Why not pack a healthy dish so if all else fails, you have something to fall back on. You probably also know your mom will be there with her special pecan pie. If this is something that is really important to you, then skimp on the other desserts and savor a small slice of the pecan pie.

2) Survey the Scene

Ok, you’re at a party that you could not have possibly planned ahead for. What do you do? Before picking up a plate to get some food, look at the options available. Is there something new you want to try or is there something you’re just dying to have? Chances are there are some options you just don’t care about either. Skip those and go for small portions of the good stuff! You don’t have to eat everything available.

3) Exercise

I know, blah, blah, blah, right? I’m serious on this one! Exercise releases those feel good chemicals in your brain that will have you reaching for an apple rather than another slice of pie. You’ve already done one good thing for yourself, so you’re more likely to do more. You’ll also feel less bloated, fatigued and just plain miserable!

4) The Holidays Will Come Again

If you think about it, there will be another Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, etc. So why should those days be any different from the rest? Would you normally eat until the point of being in a food coma on any regular day? Probably not; or at least I hope not. So why should the holidays be any different? Treat your holiday meals as a normal lunch or dinner meal and eat the same amount of food; nothing more. That means just get one plate of food and balance it with mostly vegetables, whole grains and protein. Remember, everything counts and just because you’re not writing it down or telling someone, your body still knows!

Do yourself and your body a favor this holiday season and start making small changes early. I promise those small, gradual changes will turn out to be a big change over time and you won’t feel overwhelmed and ashamed when New Year’s rolls around!

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