Six Tips to Help You Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

One holiday down...several more to go.

I'll tell you this right now: It does not matter how much or what you ate on Thanksgiving. I'll say it again, a little louder: IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW MUCH OR WHAT YOU ATE ON THANKSGIVING!

Understand? 

Your actions on one day will NOT make or break your lifestyle. I hope you thoroughly enjoyed your slice of pumpkin pie. I hope you had a big plateful of gravy-soaked turkey and washed it all down with a glass of fine red wine. (Or two.)

But Thanksgiving is in your rearview mirror...and now comes the real test. What you eat on Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas doesn't really matter. What matters is how you handle yourself in between: During this awkward in-between phase is when people start to gain weight.

Think about it...Leftovers are still abound in many home fridges. There are still several office parties, Friendsgivings and dinners out on your calendar. Not to mention, you probably have a few family get togethers coming up. Decadent desserts are on everyone's minds. And because we're now in December, it's harder to find motivation to exercise and stay active. 

Holiday Spread

I won't tell you that you need to stop enjoying these memory-making moments, but do be cognizant of all that you're consuming during this time. Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy this holiday, and keep your lifestyle wholesome. Make eating at home a priority--While the allure to eat out may be great, try to eat the majority of your meals at home. Put emphasis on veggie-heavy, nourishing meals. When you cook at home, you have control over what goes into your body. 
  • Stay  hydrated--It can be far too easy for our water bottle to be replaced by the wine bottle. Continually drink what to help keep your body moving and buzzing along!
  • Stay active--This will look different to everyone, but find some kind of daily activity. It could be yoga, running, afternoon walks, lifting weights, swimming...anything! Just exercise and move your body out of love, not punishment. (You do not need to schedule extra workouts or exercise out of punishment during this season.)
  • Eat your veggies (preferably first)--Vegetables carry the bulk of our nutrients and fiber, so put emphasis on eating them. When we eat them first, we get fuller faster. 
  • Eat until your satisfied, not necessarily full--These two things are not the same. When we're full, we're often uncomfortable and we've eaten past satisfaction. At some point, the meal, dessert or snack may becomes unenjoyable. Stop then. Stop just before your fullness cues kick in. If you're still hungry a little later, have a little snack. Learning the difference between these cues will help you save a few extra calories. 
  • Keep stress levels in check--Stress has a sneaky way of infiltrating our entire lives. But when our stress levels are high, our bodies are not able to function properly, and it's during this time our hormones are out of control. By keeping stress levels low, your body is better able to react to the stress and ever-changing environment. 
  • Practice gratitude--Remind yourself all that you are thankful for during this time. These daily reminders act as a form of meditation and will keep you rooted not only in the positive, but in the present.
And if you find yourself really pressed for time, join a FREE recipe challenge! The Home Cooked Hustle is a week-long stress-releaving challenge that will provide you with recipes and tools to help you get meals on the table without worry.

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