December 14, 2012

By Jennifer Ziegler

Is it possible to enjoy the holidays without gaining weight?  To be most successful it’s best to have a plan in place before the holidays begin.  Try these tips to help keep you on the path to success.

      • Adhere to your regular workout or at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily
      • Follow meal plans that include breakfast every day, frequent small meals, fruits and veggies at each meal and plenty of water
      • Eat a healthy snack before attending a holiday gathering
      • Go easy on alcohol, caffeine, energy drinks and soda
      • Eat foods that help combat stress like salmon, tuna, turkey, nuts, whole grains, spinach and other dark green veggies, pomegranate and dark chocolate (72% cocoa or higher)
      • Use relaxation techniques that satisfy the please center of the brain such as meditation, yoga, music, massage or a hot bath
      • Recruit the help of supportive people
      • Remove temptations from the house
      • Get 6-8 hours of sleep per night
      • Ask for help when feeling overwhelmed
      • Establish a non-food reward system

I saved the best for last, Be Planful.  While we refer to a holiday “season” in reality there are really only a couple of days that trigger overeating.  Look at your holiday calendar and decide what 2 or 3 days you’d like to treat yourself -schedule them just like you would any other activity.  You can easily “budget” for these indulgences by sticking to your normal physical activity routine and eating healthfully during the rest of the season.  Redirect your focus to the real meaning of the holidays -family, friends, traditions and whatever spiritual meaning you find in the season.

Happy Hanukkah!