For anyone trying to lose or maintain weight and stay healthy, the holiday season can pose all sorts of problems.  There’s Christmas cookies, potato latkes for Chanukah, fruitcake (which seems to add one pound to your hips for every ounce you eat), turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, endless amounts of gravy and, of course, egg nog.  How can you possibly avoid gaining any weight during this time?  Here are some helpful tips to get your through to the New Year.

Avoid Everything

The least practical suggestion would be to avoid eating anything that you’ve added to your banned list of foods.  This can be a tough one since absence (and abstinence!) seems to make the heart grow fonder so, avoiding entirely could make your cravings even worse.  If, however, you can do it, this is the most fool-proof route to take.

Set Realistic Limits

Whether you’re going to the annual company party or your sister’s home for Christmas dinner, be honest about which items you won’t be able to resist and then set a limit. If you absolutely adore those little sugar cookies decorated as mittens, allow yourself to enjoy one or two but no more than that.  As long as you eat in moderation, you should be okay.

Bring Healthier Options

Even if no one else is going to eat your “rabbit food” bring some healthier options such as steamed carrots, salad and mashed cauliflower (in lieu of potatoes) so that you won’t be at the mercy of someone else’s menu.  Pair that with some lean turkey breast and, really, you could have a relatively guilt-free meal.

Stay Sober

Alcohol is one of those things that adds so many calories without you even realizing it. A glass of wine with dinner, a couple of cocktails after the kids have gone to bed and some spiked eggnog at bedtime can add hundreds of calories to your daily intake.

Take a Walk

Whether it’s before or after the big dinner, bundle up and take a stroll around the neighborhood.  Admire all of the decorations or even join a group that plans to sing carols on the steps of the homes in the area.  Whatever you do, try to keep your body moving as much as you can!

Be Kind With Yourself

At the end of the day, you might do very well during the holidays or you could end up breaking every dietary rule you have.  Regardless of the outcome, there’s nothing you can do to change it so, accept it for what it is and move forward.  Commit to getting right back on track instead of dwelling on the past!