10 Ways to Avoid Putting on Pounds This Holiday Season

Enjoy the holidays guilt-free!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

6. BYOHA

That’s “Bring Your Own Healthy Alternative”. If you aren’t sure there are going to be healthy options at a holiday get-together, bring your own healthy dish. Others may enjoy your offering as well, and at least you know there is one item you can eat without guilt. For delicious recipe ideas, see 10 Low-Calorie Holiday Desserts or 103 Best Skinny Holiday Recipes.

7. Focus on Fun

Make fun and socializing the focus of your holiday gatherings instead of food. Take your mind off of the elaborate holiday spread by engaging in interesting conversations, playing with the little ones in the family, or starting a dance party or sing-a-long. Creating memories with those you love and care about is a great alternative to overindulging with food that will only bring guilt later.

8. Put Down the Tasting Spoon

If you are one of the designated cooks for holiday meals and you are tasting a dish every couple of minutes, you could be racking up some serious calories before you even sit down for the meal! Instead, limit yourself to a couple of small tastes per dish. Or, if it is a dish you have made many times before, be daring and aim for just one taste to check your seasonings. By putting aside that tasting spoon, you will save yourself from sneaky calories.

9. Make Smart Swaps

You can have delicious foods and beverages during the holidays; they just might not come in the traditional form that you’re used to. For example, swap chips and dip for vegetables and hummus or mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower. Don’t want to miss out on other holiday favorites? Try these 9 Holiday-Inspired Smoothie Recipes. Indulge in the flavors of the holidays without the accompanying guilt.

10. Have a Plan

Going blindly into the holidays without a game plan doesn’t usually turn out so well. Sit down and decide what goals you would like to set. Whether you want to limit your overall calorie intake, lower your number of indulgences, or maintain a certain percentage of healthy compliant meals, make sure the goals are realistic and obtainable. Determine what your biggest challenges or pitfalls will be and strategize ways to cope with these situations when they arise. Write everything down and look at it from time to time to maintain your focus. Just be sure that your plan allows you to indulge when it’s really worth it and enjoy the satisfaction of keeping your healthy lifestyle a priority. Too much of one and not enough of the other is a recipe for failure.

For more tips on how to avoid weight gain this holiday season, see 10 Ways to Beat Fall Weight Gain or 5 Easy Tricks to Eat Less at Parties.

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Chef Heather

Heather is a trained chef and writer from Houston, TX. She has a degree in culinary arts, and is married to her culinary school sweetheart who is also a chef. Heather has a passion for creating healthy meals that don't sacrifice on flavor. She loves Crossfit and is always looking for ways to make healthier versions of her favorite meals. Heather believes the secret to sticking with any healthy meal plan is to include foods that you really enjoy!

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