WITHOUT EVEN BEING TEMPTED TO CHEAT
#1 TRACK YOUR FOOD
That means all of it, from the spoonful of cookie batter you ate while baking to the free sample of ham at the grocery store. These "hidden" calories are easy to gloss over but can really add up.
Plus you know from experience how it helps you to lose weight and eat better. If you do nothing else during the holidays, track your food diligently every day.
#2 PLAN YOUR HOLIDAY MEALS
A continuation of tip #1, plan your meals and snacks in advance so you can enjoy your favorites and still stay on track. Before you head to another party or sit down for a holiday dinner, pre-track your food for the day.
Find places to cut back on calories in order to splurge a little more on your holiday meal, for example. Decide which foods you'll have (and how much) and use your Nutrition Tracker to stay within your calorie range.
#3 BRING YOUR OWN FOOD
This is a great tip if you're heading to a party and don't know what's in the food (or how it was prepared). Pick a healthy, low-cal recipe that you can bring.
And no matter what kind of food is there, you'll have at least one dish you can eat with confidence.
#3 LIMIT ALCOHOL
It lowers inhibitions, making it more likely that you'll forget about your nutrition plan and overindulge. Plus, alcohol alone is pretty high in calories. If you can party hop without drinking at all, you'll be better off.
If you must drink, nurse your glass slowly, choose diet-friendly drinks, and limit the number of servings. Oh and yes, alcohol does contain calories, so add every drink to your Nutrition Tracker.
#5 RE-GIFT TREATS AND FOOD
Of course, your loved ones mean well when they give you delicious food and candy gifts. But just because they give them does not mean you have to eat them!
There are plenty of opportunities to re-gift food gifts over the holidays: bring them to parties, work, potlucks, and other get-togethers. Or, donate store-bought foods to a local food pantry or hospital to spread the holiday spirit to others. Take home-baked goods to a homeless shelter.
#6 ADD 10 EXTRA MINUTES OF CARDIO TO YOUR DAYS
Some experts say that adding just 10 minutes of vigorous exercise to your usual workout routine can counter the effects of a little extra holiday eating. You can spare an extra 10 minutes, right?
Even if you can't fit it in all at once, try to do small amounts throughout the day. High-intensity moves like jumping jacks, high-knee running in place, or jumping rope all work. Or you can try our 10-mintue cardio videos to torch those extra calories in one shot.
#7 WATCH YOUR PORTION
There's nothing wrong with enjoying some once-a-year favorites if you keep your portions in check. Sometimes just a little taste is all you need. Use this handy portion guide to estimate portion sizes when eating at parties and holiday dinners.
#8 FOCUS ON PEOPLE
Isn't that what the holidays are all about? At parties and gatherings, enjoy the good conversation and activities instead of hovering around the food table.
Create lasting memories that don't revolve around eating, and you won't feel like you're missing out.
#9 KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE
Before you take a bite or hit snooze instead of hitting the gym, remember your goals. It's going to take work to get there and survive the holiday season.
Before you act, ask yourself, "Will this help me get where I want to go?" If not, make another decision. And remember that YOU are in control during the holidays, not the other way around.