We’ve waited all year, and the holidays are finally upon us! Pretty soon we’ll be planning our Thanksgiving dinners, baking Christmas cookies, and searching for that perfect bottle of champagne to ring in the new year.

45% of Americans make losing weight their New Year’s resolution. However, by the time the holidays roll around, sticking to that resolution can seem impossible.

But it doesn’t have to be so hard! There are plenty of healthy holiday tips that will help you enjoy the upcoming festivities without gaining that weight back that you’ve spent all year losing.

Do you want to know more? Keep reading to discover our top tips for staying healthy around the holidays.

Set Specific Guidelines

Portion control is a great way to keep track of exactly how much you’re eating so you know if you’re really sticking to your diet or not. However, many people seem to throw this out the window when it comes to holidays meals and treats.

Setting specific guidelines for how much you can eat is one of the best ways to enjoy your favorite foods without going overboard. So, limit yourself to one slice of pumpkin pie or 3/4 cup of stuffing.

Remove Everyday Treats

It’s no secret that the holidays are full of amazing desserts that are sure to have your mouth watering. If you want to enjoy these, you’ll have to make sure you’re not indulging elsewhere.

Getting rid of that bag of chips or box of brownie mix will allow you to enjoy your favorite holiday treats, like Christmas cookies and apple pie.

Meal Prep

Unfortunately, watching what you eat at holiday parties and get-togethers isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. The holidays can be a stressful and busy time as you decorate, plan parties, and shop for gifts.

This means that after a long day of Christmas shopping, you may be tempted to hit the drive-thru on your way home. But if you want to enjoy the delicious food at your next party, you’ll want to skip the unhealthy dinners at home.

Meal prepping is a great way to make sure you eat right throughout the next few months. Prepare a few meals and freeze them so all you’ll have to do is pop it in the microwave for a quick, but healthy meal.

Don’t Focus on Food

This one can be a little difficult. After all, what’s Thanksgiving without all that amazing food. But if you want to enjoy the holiday season without going overboard, it’s important to take the focus away from the food.

Don’t look forward to Grandma’s famous sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Instead, look forward to seeing Grandma and the rest of the family.

Shifting your focus away from food and onto family and fun will help you avoid overindulging, whereas if you look forward to your favorite foods, it’ll be harder to limit your portions.

Swap Out Unhealthy Ingredients

Of course, staying healthy during the holidays is easier if you try to make holiday treats as healthy as possible.

Use roasted pecans on green bean casseroles instead of fried onions and pour chicken broth over mashed potatoes instead of butter. You can even make healthy Christmas cookies!

However, even with healthier substitutes, you should still practice portion control. Many holiday treats are packed with sugar that can leave you with intense cravings that last long after the holidays are over.

Skip Unhealthy Sides You Don’t Love

So, you walk into your parent’s house and are immediately met with a table full of delectable food. Your eyes dart around, and you can’t wait to load up your plate with a bit of everything.

While this may seem like a good idea, it’s actually easier to overindulge this way. You may start out with nice, small portions. But then you think, “well, I guess I can have seconds of stuffing since I only ate half of my cranberry sauce.” Before you know it, you’ve broken your portion control guidelines.

Don’t be afraid to skip unhealthy sides that you don’t love. It’ll make it easier for you to track what you’ve eaten so you don’t go overboard.

Snack Beforehand

Have you ever caught yourself thinking, “I should just skip lunch to make room for all my favorites at Christmas dinner tonight”? Well, don’t be so quick to follow that plan.

When you come to your holiday celebration hungry from not eating all day, it’ll be harder to portion control. Instead, eat a small meal before you leave or snack on fruit and veggie starters before dinner is served.

Don’t Drink Your Calories

No holiday party is complete without a little booze. But that booze could be costing you in the long run.

Alcohol is packed with calories, and you could be looking at an extra 250 calories by just drinking two glasses of red wine. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to cut all alcohol out. But you should be sure to drink in moderation and include calories from alcohol in any diet tracker or food log you’re keeping.

The Best Healthy Holiday Tips

If you’ve spent the past year dieting and losing weight, you don’t want to gain it all back in just a few short months. Just follow our healthy holiday tips to have fun without overindulging.

Are you afraid you won’t meet your end of the year fitness goal? Check out our weight loss page to see how we can help.

- Elite Spine and Health Center
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