holiday food

Thanksgiving, Christmas and every holiday in between allows us to spend quality time with family, take time off from school and sometimes even work while enjoying some quality home cooking (or really good catering services).

It really is the "most wonderful time of the year" when there is honey ham, turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and a large variety of baked goods in your kitchen. During the holidays, it's common for people to ditch their fitness programs and focus on spending time with the family. The bad part is, when summer rolls around again, that two piece bikini doesn't fit quit the same way it did.

This is going to leave those who believe in creating New Year's resolutions wondering why they keep having to write "lose weight" as their first goal. If you manage your eating habits during the holidays, you're not going to have to worry about losing that extra ten pounds when it's time for the butterflies and flowers to reappear.

Eat Smaller Servings

thanksgiving dinner

Families pay little attention to serving sizes during the holiday. Grandma and Grandpa cook enough food to feed a small army and as soon as your plate has an empty spot they tell you,"Get some more! There's plenty!". It would be rude to say no, right? Afterall, they spent hours preparing this meal and expect everyone to have no shame in grabbing seconds and thirds of the giant turkey.

If you want to make sure you don't over eat, make sure to start with a smaller serving. It helps to grab a smaller plate because when you use a large plate you usually feel the need to fill it up entirely. It's not rude to ask for a smaller plate if you're with family. If the plates are already set and they happen to be large, ask for a smaller plate and tell your family your plans about maintaining your weight during the holidays. 

It doesn't mean you need to give up your favorite foods, just eat less of it. Eat until you're not hungry. After eating, you should feel satisfied, but you shouldn't have to unbutton your pants in order to breathe. If you have to do that, you're as stuffed as the turkey on the table!

Start with a small serving and if you're still hungry and want some more, then go back and get a serving that's smaller than the first. This way your eyes won't deceive you and you'll avoid overeating. This means you'll be eating less calories than you would have if you'd just piled food on a giant plate and gobbled it all down in one sitting.

Don't Forget To Stay Active

Man Exercising

One of the keys to maintaining your weight while enjoying the holidays is to stay active. Burning more calories than you consume on a daily basis will allow you to avoid adding numbers to the scale without giving up your favorite foods. 

I'm not saying you have to spend two hours a day at the gym or working out in your home, but it's normal that people go to sleep after over eating and staying in bed for weeks without any real physical activity. That's not going to do you any good when it comes to maintaining your weight.

If you're short on time or just want to burn some extra calories quickly, do a 30 minute cardio workout. Cardio burns fat and that's going to keep your waistline from expanding. This is the time of year that people find themselves with a little more free time in their schedule, so try to fill that time by doing a cardio workout 2 or 3 times per week.

healthy woman

Focusing on these two things will help you cut back on those fatty calories and when it's time to put your coats and sweaters away again, you'll be relieved to know you don't need to repeat the weight loss challenges you probably faced last year.

It's A Great Idea To Cook

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations
Amazon Price: $29.99 $17.99 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 13, 2013)
By cooking during the holidays, you're able to control the calories being put into your food. This takes the guessing out of how many calories you need to burn.