With the holidays getting closer, you can’t help but be bombarded by all the tips and tricks for avoiding holiday weight gain and maintaining your fitness routine. I guess I am about to do the same thing :), but I do so with a bit of a twist.

By now you may have noticed through my blog and social media posts that I am not at all a huge fan of gimmicky nutrition and fitness advice. I believe in providing my followers with sound, practical and realistic advice towards a happier and healthier lifestyle. So with that in mind, the tips I am about to share with you are simple approaches to navigating the holidays while still allowing yourself to have fun and enjoy this special time of year.

You can drive yourself absolutely crazy this time of year by trying to maintain a strict nutrition and fitness regimen. Instead, I propose to you to keep it simple, stay on track as best as you can, and don’t beat yourself up too much if you fall off the wagon a bit. As Taylor Swift is preaching these days, “shake it off” and never mind wallowing in the fact that you may have fallen off track a little bit. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on it as things as things start winding down after the New Year. This time of year should be about enjoying spending time with your family and friends, indulging A BIT in tasty holiday treats, and creating the special memories that come along only with time of year.

BE PRESENT IN THE MOMENT AND ENJOY IT! So with that said, here are a few simple tips and very doable tips to help you maintain a bit of sanity through the holidays:

1. Pick Your Favorite Foods: There are bound to be treats around every corner this time of year, so it’s important to pick and choose only your favorites. Why waste calories on mediocre store-bought cookies when your Mom’s homemade dessert will be waiting for you at your family gathering?

2. Don’t Leave the House Hungry: This is a big one. We often make the worst food choices when we are hungry and feel like we have no options. One way to avoid this from happening is to ensure you eat before you leave for your families, friends or wherever you may need to go. The worst thing you can do is arrive to a party hungry, and snack mindlessly or out of desperation make a choice you typically wouldn’t make. Another way to help keep yourself on track is you can always pack a few snacks with you. This way if you have something you feel comfortable eating if you are really hungry.

3. Maintain Portion Control: By completing denying yourself one goodie or another, you only set yourself up for a binge eating episode if your willpower breaks. To prevent this, allow yourself to sample anything you want. As long as you watch your portion sizes, you’re fine. If you need help, share a slice of pie or split a cookie with someone else. My husband and I use this trick all the time!

4. Maintain a Workout Routine:  Yes, I understand that you may be shorter on time through the holidays than usual, but try your best not to skimp out on your workout. Instead of looking at it as just another thing to get done, look at it rather as your “me time”. You have even more people and engagements vying for your attention this time of year which can leave you feeling energetically tapped out and frazzled. So give yourself a bit of time to unplug from everything with your workouts and focus on maintaining YOUR strength, energy, and mental and emotional well being.

So with all this said, I leave you with a neat little quote I came across the other day:
It is all about balance, so it doesn’t mean eating a dozen cookies, but it does mean eating your grandma’s favorite cookie that she only makes once a year. And always remember if you slip up and have one too many (candies), don’t beat yourself up over it. You won’t lose all the positive gains that you’ve made.

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