Kim Duke

By Kim Duke

NETA & AAFA Certified Trainer

So you made it through the Thanksgiving holiday with only a slight bump up on the scale.  But wait, this festive season is just getting started.  What can that mean for your waistline?

Is it possible to celebrate the season without packing on extra pounds?  The answer is YES!

Being health-conscious doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t enjoy the holiday season and have a little bit of what you fancy. It simply means that you should continue to be vigilant and be prepared for the festivities.

There are many ways in which you can help to strike a balance between maintaining a healthy diet and joining in with the fun and festivities.

For instance, start your day off with exercise.  Exercising in the morning can help ensure better behavior all day long, according to a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

Using brain scans, researchers found that when women worked out in the a.m., they not only moved more the rest of the day, but they also responded less to pictures of tempting food compared with the days they didn’t do a morning workout. The upshot: fewer cravings for high-fat fare.

Also, avoid banking calories.  Cutting back all day so you can indulge at an event that night only sets you up for a pig-out.

Why? You’re freaking starving! “It’s easy to get out of control when you’re faced with high-calorie choices,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD, author of The Miracle Carb Diet.

Be sure to eat your three squares and a couple of snacks. Aim for lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean protein.

Choose your alcoholic beverages carefully. Trust me when I tell you this IS a struggle, but, it can be the difference between a handful of calories and a few hundred calories, which adds up significantly when multiplied by half a dozen cocktails throughout the evening.

I have found if you alternate a glass of water and a drink, you can save your self a lot of extra calories.

It’s really tempting to throw on baggy sweaters and loose pants this time of year, but wearing form-fitting clothes can actually make you pay more attention to what you eat and whether your body changes from week to week.

If the pants you put on last week feel a little tight this week, don’t throw them in the back of your closet! Wear them anyway, and just pay more attention to your other healthy habits.

And lastly, be awesome the next day!  Don’t let one night ruin your next day. Just because the holidays are a time to celebrate doesn’t mean every day needs to be a celebration. Set aside one or two nights a week to really enjoy yourself, but stick to your usual routine the rest of the time.