8 Tricks to Keep Your Diet This Holiday Season

The holiday season is here again. This means planning lots of parties and celebrations…and LOTS of eating. It will take some strong willpower to overcome the food temptations and diet challenges of the holiday season.

For the majority of us, it’s not easy to remain on track with our normal healthy diet this time of year. However, there are some tricks and tips that you can use to keep your diet on track this holiday season.

Tasty Trick #1—Mentally Plan for Parties

You can’t simply avoid going to parties during the holiday season, whether it’s for the office, family, or a friend inviting you over to have dinner and catch up. Prepare yourself mentally for the party and everything associated with that, which involves the liquor, food, and eating later than usual.

Before going to the party, be sure to have a healthy and filling meal so you are not as tempted to overindulge. With a full stomach, you are also less likely to drink too much alcohol.

Tasty Trick #2 – Know that Shopping Malls Can Be Diet Disasters

The holidays also usually mean that you will probably find yourself at a crowded mall or shopping center. Your shopping time may last for hours. You may even find yourself shopping during lunchtime or dinnertime, which can make it tempting to head over to the food court.

But you don’t have to buy anything at the food court. Instead, pack some snacks in a bag before you leave for your shopping trip, such as:

  • Low fat pretzels
  • Almonds
  • Died fruit or fresh fruit
  • Low-calorie snack bars
  • Pistachios

Tasty Trick #3 – Use Leftovers Wisely

With the holiday season comes leftovers. What are you going to do with those leftovers? Be creative and use them wisely and healthfully. You could use turkey to make a nutritious vegetable soup, or a turkey spinach salad. If you have leftover ham, use it to make an omelet or low fat ham and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread.

Tasty Trick #4 – Remember Portion Control

Don’t eat everything on your plate. In fact, choose each item you put onto your plate carefully. Lean proteins should be chosen according to the size of your palm. Remember, even healthy food choices have calories, so make every choice count. If you want to indulge a little, plan that into your portions and calories for the entire day so you can avoid overeating.

Tasty Trick #5 – Eat Before You Go

Don’t arrive at the party and head straight for the buffet table. Instead, grab a bottle of water and mingle with the crowd, making conversation with some of the guests as you wait until mealtime rather than snacking. You will have time to get comfy with the setting, surveying the choices of food on the buffet before you dive in.

Tasty Trick #6 – Trick the Buffet

Whether it’s a buffet dinner or not, you should choose the smallest plate available. Limit your servings to the healthiest choices, and be sure to include more fruits and vegetables. Steer clear of dips and sauces; these are just empty, extra calories.

Tasty Trick #7 – Limit Alcohol

Limit your alcohol intake at holiday celebrations. Alcohol has a lot of empty calories. Plus, if you drink too much alcohol, it is likely that you won’t be in control of what you have to eat. If you feel uncomfortable or weird not having a drink in your hand, sip on some bottled water.

Tasty Trick #8 – Take Your Low Calorie Treats With You

If are invited to a holiday party, take your low calorie desserts with you. This will help you stay away from the fattening and tempting treats that are typical fare of the holiday festivities. Share your low calorie dessert with the guests. Many people will love the healthy alternative.

Don’t let the few weeks of the holiday season ruin a whole year’s worth of hard work and discipline when it comes to your eating habits. It can be tough, but using these tips and tricks can really help you stay on track with your diet during the holidays. Plus – not gaining holiday weight puts you on the path to starting the new year happy and healthy! Enjoy!

Fun, After-Feasting, Calorie-Burning Activities

It’s always great fun indulging in our favorite foods at holiday meals. But guess what? It can also be fun shedding those calories! Here are some stress-free, playful ideas on how to burn off the stuffing in your belly.

Thankful Eating

As far as pleasurable experiences go, it’s tough to beat a Thanksgiving meal or treats at other food-plentiful holidays. The turkey, ham, potatoes, stuffing, cornbread, pies, and other cultural specialty dishes are too delicious to pass up.

After the meal, we’re often exhausted from the tryptophan levels in our blood or from our bodies trying to digest everything. If you’ve done the cooking, add some extra fatigue on top of that. Most likely, not many of us are going to jump up in the evening and get in a workout.

But…There’s always tomorrow!

The Morning After

You’ve been well fed, and hopefully, you’ve gotten a good night’s rest. Now it’s time to have some more fun—this time expending calories instead of ingesting them.

If you’re over at a friend’s or family’s home, there will probably be other people to hang with. The same if you’ve invited others to your place—or if the kids came home!

Group activities the day after your feast are bonding and can make enjoyable memories. But even if you find yourself solo (or choose to be), many of the following calorie-burners can be just as pleasurable.

Outdoor Calorie Burners

-Garden. Depending on the weather, it could be a great time to prune fruit trees, fertilize, or move outdoor plants into the greenhouse. There’s always something to dig, trim, plant, or feed.

-Hopscotch. All you need is some chalk and something to toss (keys, a small beanbag, even a rock).

-Stroller or wagon time. Walk or run while pushing/pulling the youngsters.

-Collect and bag recycling. It gets you moving, saves the planet, and can put a few dollars in your pocket.

-Take your dog for a walk or play ball. If you don’t have a dog, offer to take your neighbor’s. They may appreciate it.

Indoor Calorie Burners

Pillow fights. No hitting below the belt.

-Dance. Blast your favorite music and let loose. Or, put on a music video and try to imitate the choreography. In a group or alone, dance like no one’s watching J

-Vacuum. Uses a ton of energy and you can get creative experimenting with different components for hard-to-reach spots. And, you’ll feel good about how clean your carpet looks afterwards.

-Play dodgeball with balls of socks. Just remove lamps or breakable items from the space you’ll be playing in.

Indoors or Out

-Jump rope. You can practice on your own, or with a group. Remember double dutch?

-Ride a bicycle. You can watch TV or read while riding your stationary bike. Outside, you can burn 50 calories in 10 minutes even on a nice, light ride.

-Play duck, duck, goose. It’s really fun to watch the adults try to get up quickly.

-Stair climb. You can go from the living room to the upstairs bedroom and back 10 times. Or, you can be productive and carry laundry up and downstairs. Outside, staircases, short and long, can be found all over. Just climb near a handle in case you trip.

Many communities sponsor “fun runs”, usually 3K or 5K’s. Those are terrific for getting out and meeting new peeps. There are also a bunch of chores that burn lots of calories indoors and outdoors. They may not be fun in-and-of themselves, but listening to music, or doing them with a friend, child, or pet can make it enjoyable, productive, and rewarding.