5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

The holidays are a great time to celebrate, whether it’s at a festive work party, reunion with family and friends, or annual community event.

Along with these special occasions comes plenty of tempting seasonal treats, which can sometimes make it difficult to make smart food choices. Nonetheless, there are ways to enjoy the holidays while still maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Here are five tips for steering your holidays in a health-conscious direction

1| TAKE FAMILY GATHERINGS OUTSIDE

During the winter months we are often tempted to hibernate inside. Mix it up, and try taking a family gathering or night with friends outdoors. Plan some fun outdoor events like skating, tobogganing, or simply taking a walk around the neighbourhood to see the lights and sights of the festive season.

2| PLAN AHEAD

It’s always important to plan ahead during the busy holiday season. Whether it’s planning a party or shopping for the perfect gift, preparation is key. Take that mentality one step further, and be sure to pack healthy snacks to avoid buffet binges or Christmas cookies around the office. Prepare healthy meals on the weekend and freeze them for quick, healthy lunches or dinners during the hectic holiday weeks.

3| EAT BEFORE PARTIES

Healthy choices at holiday parties are often pretty limited. By making healthy choices before arriving, you’re less likely to overindulge. Eat a well-balanced snack or light meal before heading to a holiday party so you are satiated before arriving. Trust us, your waistline will thank you later.

4| SCHEDULE EXERCISE

Balancing work, school and family obligations can be difficult during the holidays, but it’s important to maintain a regular fitness routine. Schedule exercise just as you would a social event or meeting to ensures it remains a festive priority. Need a little extra incentive? Exercise helps relieve the stress from long trips to crowded malls or busy days at the office.

5| CHOOSE WATER

Though eggnog and mulled wine may be flowing, try to choose water as often as possible. While indulging in a seasonal drink or two is fine in moderation, the calorie count and sugar content of festive beverages can add up quick. By choosing water, you can ensure that you’ll be well-hydrated, and that you’re saving your calories for that one special holiday treat you can’t resist.

Remember, a healthy lifestyle and a healthy weight can help you prevent or manage diabetes, improve blood glucose (sugar), blood pressure and blood lipids (fats). It will also reduce your risk of complications such as heart disease and stroke, and improve general well-being and energy levels. Before making changes to how you eat, it's always best to consult with your health care team for guidance and support.

- Kelsey Goforth

Credits:

Created with images by Sabrina_Ripke_Fotografie - "cookie cookies small cakes" • Pezibear - "person human child" • David Armano - "Prep is done for the mother of all stuffing recipes. Now for the fun part. #ArmanoTG" • PublicDomainPictures - "celebration christmas cuisine" • skeeze - "snowshoe walk tourists snow" • Leonid Mamchenkov - "A glass of water. #SimpleThings"

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