What do holiday parties and get togethers all have in common? Food and drinks…as in unhealthy food and drinks! It’s no wonder most people gain weight during the holidays. Everywhere you turn, you’re surrounded by sweet temptations—holiday cookies, gingerbread houses, pumpkin pies, pastries, chocolate santa's, and the list goes on! Even healthy foods like brussel sprouts and green beans are magically transformed into unhealthy dishes that will make you want to do nothing but fall asleep. And don’t forget the drinks. Eggnog, hot chocolate, Starbucks Pumpkin Cinnamon Mocha Frappucino with a candy cane straw are not going to help you stay on track this holiday season. So how do you stay on track? Stay Focused Yes, the holidays bring yummy foods and drinks, but parties and family traditions aren’t about food, they're about the people right? RIGHT? Before a party, remind yourself what the holiday season is all about—friends, family, giving, and religious traditions. Then stay focused on the reason for the season rather than the plate full of hors d'oeuvres in front of you. Second, stay focused on your goals. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come and where you’re headed. Keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. Thanksgiving just passed and I'm sure you splurged a little, so now get right back to eating healthy and exercising, so your progress can continue. The holidays can also be a time of emotional eating. For many people, the holidays bring stress, family conflict, or depression. Learn to address the root of your problems with solutions other than food or drink. Try to take up yoga, which is great for your body and mind. Or read a motivational book like Rhonda Rousey's My Fight/Your Fight. Find this and others at the Mauka Makai Fitness store. Strategize Is your holiday social calendar filled with night after night of parties and events? It’s time to come up with a plan. If you want to keep your diet on track, you’ll need to pace yourself. Don’t go to a party hungry, that is just asking for trouble! Eat a large healthy meal beforehand, that way you won't be hungry when you get to the party. Before and after a meal, chew gum so you won’t be tempted to overindulge in appetizers and desserts. During a party, don’t stand right next to the food table. In fact, don't even stand in the same room! And before you get a plate of food, choose your plate wisely. Go with a small plate instead of a large dinner plate and stock up on veggies and protein. Wise Choices Be smart about what you choose to eat. Don’t deprive yourself of all the foods you love or you’ll likely spurge and ruin all your good intentions. Enjoy the goodness of the season, but in moderation. Like I said above, give yourself a small treat so you can enjoy the holidays, but then get right back to those healthy habits. I heard a quote that said "It's not about the food you eat between Christmas and New Years; it's about the food you eat between New Years and Christmas". So make sure to create healthy habits that will stick with you the entire year! Lastly, the holidays are all about having cocktails and other alcoholic drinks, so be sure to limit them as much as possible. Try alternating an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink. Follow these simple tips, and you will avoid holiday weight gain this season and start the New Year off right! Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that is right for you.