So how are we supposed to get through the holidays without causing weight gain? Here are eight effective ways to get yourself ready to beat the holiday bulge:

  • Buy clothes that fit right now. This first tip might be a bit pricy, but it’s a great motivational aid in staving off weight gain. A new addition to your wardrobe can be all you need to prevent those extra pounds from creeping on.  So before you begin the festivities, go buy yourself something perfect to wear to your parties and hang it someplace visible, so it serves as a constant reminder.
  • Write it down. The truth is, if we would write down the not-so-perfect meals and treats, we could find a way to compensate for it, at least a bit. For example, you have a peppermint brownie in the break room at work, which you know is carbohydrates and fat. Eat one less portion of carbohydrate and one less portion of fat for your dinner. Or, plan on an extra 20 or 30 minutes of your workout tonight. If we write it down and do the math, we can lessen the damage. It isn’t a good long-term plan, but to help compensate for a few slip-ups, it can help.
  • Keep exercising. The greatest gift you can give yourself is to stay focused on your fitness goals and get your workout in. Stay consistent, even if it’s inconvenient.
  • Eat before parties. Most holiday parties don’t focus on low-fat, low-calorie refreshments, so unless you’re organizing the event, the best damage control is to show up with a full tummy.
  • Get junk out of the house. Send it to work with your significant other, donate it to a bake sale, re-gift it, or just dump it in the trash.
  • Offer to prepare healthy fare. If you do the cooking, you have the control. Your family could have a tasty and satisfying meal without ingesting thousands of calories and fat grams.
  • Choose wisely and proportionally. Something occurs during a holiday meal. It’s like a Las Vegas buffet—we feel like we have to eat some of everything. We feel almost like those foods will never exist again, and this is our last meal on the planet. This year, why not try to eat only your favorites, as in two or three items, and keep the portions to the size of your palm?
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Quite possibly the worst thing you can do is beat yourself up over a bit of holiday indulgence. Yes, it does stink to backslide after working your tail off. We can only do our very best. Mentally berating yourself will only make you feel worse, which never helped anyone get back on track. A week of hard work and discipline with your food choices after the holiday indulgence should do the trick!