Tips to Stick to Your Weight Loss Plan Over the Holidays

holiday weight lossYou’ve worked hard to lose weight and get healthy, so don’t let holiday meals, office treats and parties hijack your holiday weight loss progress this holiday season. Implement these five easy tips and tricks to keep extra pounds at bay.

Don’t get caught hungry. When you’re hungry, you’re more likely to make unhealthy choices, like hitting up the drive-thru at your favorite fast-food restaurant or grabbing an extra cookie from the communal office stash. Keep some almonds, whole wheat crackers or an apple in your purse or desk drawer. This strategy can help you fight the urge for sugary, high-fat snacks.

Don’t confuse hunger with thirst. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times and refill it throughout the day. If you find yourself tempted to have a slice of the pumpkin pie, drink some water and go for a five or 10-minute walk. When you return, the temptation is likely to have passed.

Don’t forget to exercise. Hectic schedules, short work weeks and holiday parties can leave you with less time to hit the gym, but don’t worry—you can continue to burn calories throughout your day. Start by taking the stairs, parking your car as far from your office building as possible and adding a lunchtime walk. Use a fitness tracker or purchase an app for your phone to help you keep up with your exercise and step counts. Make a goal to hit 10,000 steps or more per day.

Trick yourself by using smaller plates at holiday parties and meals. Start by loading up on veggies, fruits, proteins and other healthy choices. If there’s room left on your plate, choose an indulgence and save it for the end of your meal. It’s okay to enjoy some seasonal treats, as long as you don’t overdo it.

Limit your alcohol. Remember, cocktails often contain a lot of sugar and calories, which can add up quickly. Choose yours wisely and set limits. Be sure to drink a glass of water after each alcoholic drink. Unsweetened tea is also a good option at parties.

Most of all, enjoy the season. There may be days that are more difficult than others, and you may fall off your plan. Identify what derailed you so you can be better prepared the next time. And don’t be too hard on yourself—every day is a new beginning. Happy holidays!