Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean you’re doomed to gain weight. Of course you’ll be tempted by treats at office parties, family events, school functions and even at home (especially if you enjoy baking with your kids). But you can keep your weight in line if you’re conscious about what you eat and continue to follow your exercise program.
Here are a few things I do to stay fit and trim while heading into the New Year:
1. Eat five to six small, healthy meals daily. Don’t skip meals thinking you’re going to be eating a huge meal later at a holiday function. If you stick with your normal routine, you won’t be starving when you arrive at the party, and you’ll be more likely to make better food choices.
2. Add extra cardio to workouts. An extra 10 to15 minutes of cardio will help burn any extra calories you may take in, and it will help you feel better mentally.
3. Don’t bake while hungry. Baking with the family can be tough. I love baking and I love sweets, so this is always the biggest challenge for me during the holidays. I’ve found that eating a meal before baking helps cut down the temptation to sample all the goodies I’m making.
Treats don’t have to be unhealthy to be enjoyable, either. Bake brownies with a No Pudge Fudge Brownie Mix and add some heart-healthy walnuts. Make some Mori-Nu Low-Fat Pudding and top with a dollop of fat-free whipped cream. You can also keep a few low-fat/low-calorie treat options, such as Kay’s Naturals Protein Plus Cookie Bites, on hand for snacking or to bring as a last-minute dessert to a gathering.
4. Steer clear of cocktails. Many holiday drinks are loaded with calories, which can add up quickly if you’re not careful. If you want to enjoy a drink or two, choose clear drinks and stay away from high-sugar juice mixers. Always be sure to alternate drinks with water to stay hydrated.
Enjoy yourself during the holidays! Remember, one meal isn’t going to cause you to gain weight. Allow your taste buds to enjoy a treat and then get back to your diet.
Southern States Championships top contender Melissa Transou, a figure competitor, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports nutrition needs of female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com.