thanksgiving-dinner-value-ftrMaintain, Don’t Gain this Holiday Season: 5 Easy Tips
1. Increase the calories you burn. Although this is a busy season, work to increase the amount of activity you do every day. This will help to thwart the added calories of office treats you couldn’t resist or the egg nog you knew you shouldn’t have even tasted. Two easy tricks for saving time- increase the intensity, not the time of your exercise, and get in more steps each day. Walk faster, or do intervals of speed walking, find hills, etc. Grab a pedometer and note a normal amount of steps for yourself and then increase it by 600 -or more- every day. Go to the far-away bathroom at work, clean the house as you watch TV, walk around the block a few times, anything to get more steps. 600 extra steps every day is 4200 every week. Do that all season, and you’ll have walked an extra 16.5 miles with nearly no effort. Pedometers can be found at Wal Mart, Target and sports stores.
2. Keep up with your regular, structured eating schedule. The holidays are busy, there’s no doubt. But despite holiday shopping, parties, and decorating, stick to your normal 3 meals and 2-3 snacks. Pack a cooler in the car during errands and don’t skip any meals or snacks before parties. Both can be recipes for a calorie disaster! For extra convenience this month, stock your kitchen with easy-to-grab options like meal replacement shakes, frozen lower calorie meals, snack packs of cottage cheese and yogurt, pre-portioned nuts, string cheese, beef jerky, pre-cut veggies and fruit.
3. Have a fruit or vegetable with every meal. You can have more than that, but having at least one fruit or vegetable with every meal will help you fill up on water and fiber instead of calories. It will also keep you mindful of your choices this season. For example, when grabbing lunch you’ll consciously search for the healthy fruit or vegetable to include.
4. Plan on NOT making a New Year’s resolution to diet or exercise. The anticipation of food restriction after January 1st will lead to a “get it while you can and work it off later” mentality during the holiday season. Instead, plan to be picky. Make sure the treats you do eat are only what you really love and only in small amounts.
5. Make one meal a day a meal replacement shake. Studies show that having a meal replacement shake once or twice a day helps with better weight loss and better maintenance of that weight loss. You can have a shake for any meal or even snack throughout your day, and this can keep you on track through the holiday season.

And remember, the main reason for these holidays is to bring people together and celebrate families and religious beliefs- not to increase stress or to eat until bursting. Focus on the people this season instead of the food and your weight maintenance success will follow.