By Marjorie Nolan

With the holiday season fast approaching you may be thinking about how you are going to make it through this year without the ‘Seasonal Seven’ (the average weight most of us will gain between Thanksgiving and the New Year).

Moderation is the word for this season. It’s the secret everyone knows already, but too few practice. Achieving a fun but healthy holiday time begins with a moderate approach both to what you eat (or don’t eat) and how much exercise you do (or don’t do). You can avoid packing on weight AND partake in all the fun of this time of year if you take a holistic-mindful approach.

Avoiding weight gain during the holidays is a result of conscious choices about food, exercise and thoughts. It’s also about (at times) forgiving yourself for something you may have ‘over-indulged’ on. The biggest pit fall to a healthy holiday season is the classic excuse “Oh well, I already ate…so, I might as well keep going.”

This season, get a head start on the New Year instead of starting January with added girth. Try following these Seven Seasonal Tips and ‘indulge’ without unwanted poundage:

1) Mentally Prepare! Life long healthy habits are mind over matter. Adopting a healthy mental perspective does not have to be difficult–just practice thinking ahead. If there might be ‘temptation’ know that you will need to prepare. If you are going to a party, don’t indulge on the office cookies. It’s common sense.

2) Don’t “save up” your calories! When attending a holiday function, eat ahead of time to avoid feeling overly hungry. If the party is in the evening, eat breakfast, lunch and a snack before and you will be less tempted to go overboard and eat everything in sight. Think about the “net calorie effect”…the reality is that when we ‘save up’ most generally ‘lose out’ by eating more even calories.

3) Eat foods you don’t normally have and enjoy! Evaluate your food choices and instead of choosing a variety of high-calorie foods that you can have other times of year choose one that you love and indulge. Personally, I love pecan pie and I eat it every Christmas eve without exception, but I don’t bother to touch the chocolate chip cookies.

4) Work with a professional! Your Personal Trainer or Dietitian can provide much needed accountability, which has proven to be the number one factor in weight loss. Committing to your personal support team (ahead of time) will keep you on the straight and narrow. Thankfully, our friends at Nimble can help with this!

5) Limit Alcohol! We’re not talking holiday spirit here. Drinking too much alcohol not only piles on extra, empty calories, it lowers inhibitions … especially that little voice that tells you not to make a second go-round at the dessert table. Try drinking one glass of water for each alcoholic beverage and that should slow you down. Being hungry (and tipsy) will often lead straight to the dessert table.

6) Keep a Food Journal! Even the most diligent of us aren’t always aware of how many calories we take in. The only way to really know what we’re eating each day is to keep a food journal during the holiday season. If you’re serious about watching your weight this holiday season, a food journal is the best way to hold yourself accountable.

7) Focus on socializing! Remember one of the great things about the holidays is spending time with friends and family. During get-togethers spend the majority of time sharing conversation instead of sharing desserts. You can practice at Nimble’s Holiday Party!

Marjorie Nolan is a National Spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, Nutrition and Fitness expert, author, Nutrition Counselor and speaker. She has widespread experience in the health and wellness industry including adult and child weight loss, eating disorders counseling, diabetes management, wellness nutrition, sports nutrition, disease prevention and personal training/group fitness. She has well-respected academic qualifications and a heartfelt passion for helping individuals attain nutritional wellness and physical fitness. These strengths combine to make Marjorie Nolan a wellness professional of the highest caliber. Contact Marjorie

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