5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

 Holiday DietingI hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving. Now with Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s parties looming large on our busy schedules, I’d like to offer you some sound advice that can certainly help you stay lean and serene as 2012 approaches. Here are a few tips to get you through the holidays without having to deal with the unwanted gift of weight gain and the disappointment that follows:

Do not try to lose weight during the holidays. Simply staying the same weight will be a great accomplishment. Festive times call for sane enjoyment, not stoic skimping on holiday treats.

Expect the holidays to be a challenge. The Holidays are filled with opportunities to break your diet and gain weight. Tempting treats and emotional stress will inevitably accompany the parties and plans. Sometimes this will create tremendous pressure on you. Prepare and plan for it and you will win.

Get support for eating properly. Find a supportive partner, friend, or confidante and speak with them daily. This really makes a difference. If you resist this suggestion, then you will probably gain Holiday weight. Weight loss is best done with the help of a support system, particularly during a stressful time. If you attempt to go it alone, you may fail.

Pay attention stress levels. Holidays usually mean time with family and that may result in some stressful situations. Stress can create strong emotions in you which may lead to betraying your diet for some comfort food, resulting in weight gain. This means that any unresolved family issues could emerge and create strong emotions in you. Almost all overeating is related to intense emotions. This is particularly true about holiday eating. Holidays bring unique stressful situations with traveling, food preparation, lodging arrangements, etc. If we combine these stressors with an abundance of comfort food, then we have the recipe for emotion-driven binges and post-holiday regrets. If you identify these issues prior to family gatherings, you will be better prepared to manage the feelings they generate.

Let family members know that you are working hard to lose weight and that you want their support. Feel comfortable in discussing your quest to shed a few pounds. Don’t be afraid to look to your family during the holidays for a support during such a big food season. If you are concerned about the menu during holiday parties, politely tell the host a few days prior if they could prepare something that is more in tune with your healthy lifestyle or bring your own healthy creation with you for everyone to enjoy.

I hope these guidelines help you navigate the festivities of December.  Don’t forget to keep up with your exercise plan, too.  A good Arc or treadmill workout is a GREAT way to diffuse stress.

Holly Aglialoro

Fitness enthusiast and guest blogger