Health.com
November 30, 2010

By Tina Haupert

The holidays are a crazy time of year, especially when it comes to maintaining my Feel Great Weight. There are many temptations to overeat and skip exercise! Partying, traveling, baking, shopping, decorating, spending time with family…the list goes on and on. With so many competing obligations, it's no wonder I struggle to keep up with my healthy habits. Here are a few tips that help me get through the holidays without putting on the pounds.

Watch what you wear while traveling

Each year for Christmas, my husband and I visit his family on the west coast. It's a long flight from Boston, so I would wear baggy sweats for the plane ride. I wanted to be comfortable, but this type of clothing made me fell so relaxed that I forgot all about my healthy habits. Because I could barely see my body, I had no problem snacking throughout the whole flight! Now when I travel, I make sure to wear formfitting, stylish clothing that makes me feel confident about myself. For me, wearing an attractive outfit is a constant reminder to stay on track.
 
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Focus on the experience

Rather than obsess over the food at holiday get-togethers, I focus my attention on the entire experience, including the once-a-year sights, sounds, and people at the event. Instead of gobbling up high-calorie foods, I enjoy the holiday for what it is: quality time with family and friends.

Make exercise a priority

The holiday season always seems to put my exercise routine on the back burner. With so many responsibilities and obligations, exercise is always the first thing to go. Now I try to make it a priority because I've learned that if I spend my time lounging around and sipping hot toddies, I feel sluggish and unhappy. I try to include some sort of exercise every day from Thanksgiving until the New Year to keep me on track with my fitness goals.

When traveling or staying at someone else's house, I always make sure to pack my sneakers and iPod for a quick jog to offset some of those extra calories. I like to run first thing in the morning before everyone else wakes up so I don’t miss out on the activities planned for later in the day. If I can’t find time for a workout, even a brisk walk after dinner makes me feel good and helps me stick to my diet. Plus, I can almost always get a family member or friend to join me, which makes the workout even more enjoyable.

Know when to splurge

Before I lost weight, I wouldn’t pay much attention to what I was eating during the holidays, but too much indulging had me a few pounds heavier by the New Year. Now when I splurge, not just any food will do—it has to be worth it! I skip the everyday food and thoroughly enjoy the holiday fare, like maple-glazed ham, snowman-shaped sugar cookies, and salted hot cocoa. To balance out the extra calories, I eat a light breakfast and lunch. This way I can fully enjoy the special events.

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