The best way to mitigate unwanted holiday weight gain, aside from abstaining, is to exercise. Yes, your weight will probably increase a little bit if you choose to moderately indulge in seasonal treats, but it doesn’t have to skyrocket. It is important to maintain your exercise routine, and maybe even squeeze in a little bit more, to keep your body from storing all of the excess calories you consume as fat.
Focus on trying to set yourself up for success instead of failure, by allowing yourself to partake in social activities that may involve eating and drinking a little bit more than you would during the rest of the year. As you consume slightly more, try to increase your exercise frequency, perhaps adding 1 or 2 more bouts per week of moderate intensity training. If you can make a plan like this for the holidays, it’s easier not to get stressed out about dietary slip-ups, which are bound to happen. Any added stress will likely lead to feelings of guilt, and inevitably consuming many more calories than you would otherwise.
While attending holiday parties and events, note that the primary reason is to enjoy other people’s company, rather than continuously eating and drinking whatever is nearby. Remember to eat your regular meals, perhaps in slightly smaller portions, on the day of a party. While at the party, peruse the food prior to getting a plate, and then choose a small plate and take a little bit of the few things that you really want. Then throw the plate away, and be done with the food. After all, if you’ve been eating your meals, you won’t truly be hungry for the food at the party. With alcoholic drinks, sip slowly, and alternate with water or seltzer.
The holidays are meant to be an enjoyable time of the year, sharing good times with family and friends. Allow yourself a few treats, try to exercise a little more, and don’t stress over a couple of extra pounds. Just make sure you return to a healthy routine of moderation when the festivities are over, and remember to have fun!