How to keep your weight in check this holiday season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Holiday parties, endless shopping, ugly holiday sweaters, gift exchanges with your closest gal pals, delectable foods you enjoy once a year, and of course, peppermint everything!

But the holidays are also the busiest time of year, when you find yourself rushing between all your responsibilities. And if there’s one thing we ladies know, it’s that a hectic schedule often means less time for your self-care routine (like working out) and a lot of quick, not-so-healthy meals just to fuel you from one task to the next.

This on-the-go eating – along with all the doggy bags your mom insists on every time you visit– can leave you with an expanded waistline.

But don’t fret! Check out the tips below to help maintain an optimal weight – and health – this holiday season.

Stay active

As easy as it is to sit in front of an open fire watching your favorite holiday movies over and over again, it’s imperative that you keep yourself moving through the holidays. Before snuggling up, brave the cold and take a walk. Before burying your head in a blanket in protest, hit the gym for a half hour. Before sitting down for dinner, do a light yoga exercise. The good news is that once you start the activity, you’ll likely start enjoying it – and if you’re working up a good sweat outside, you’ll even burn more calories! So bundle up and get out there!

Keep your zzz’s up

It’s a proven fact that the less you sleep, the more you will eat. When you’re sleep deprived, your body needs more energy to function, and sends signals telling you to eat. This cycle can lead to weight gain and an overall sluggish feeling. We know it’s important to attend some of those holiday parties (keeping an active social life with people you care about is also a form of self-care) just don’t make a habit of always putting sleep on the backburner. Go to the parties, bake the cakes, do what you need to do, but try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night, and when you can afford it, sleep in!

Eat small plates

While there are rules to the holidays, there is also some cheating allowed, too! The peppermint latte, the cream puffs, the mashed potatoes, the cheese-covered Brussel sprouts – it’s all just too tasty to pass up. The good news is we’re not asking you to – just watch your portions. The first step to not overeating is to eat before the function. If you show up to the party famished, you’ll probably overeat. Eat a small, healthy meal before you leave so that when you get there, you can have a few treats (on a small plate) without overindulging or feeling guilty. #win

No go get your festivities on!

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