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How to Stay on Track Over the Holidays

Yes you can, and here are some helpful hints for you to stay ahead of the fork.

Although the holidays may look a bit different this year, there is plenty of reason to celebrate. Holidays are primarily associated with foods, the choices not necessarily healthy, and of course the indulgence of dessert and alcohol. This is a special time for family and you should enjoy all that this time of year offers. It's easy to be tempted and make excuses but there is no reason for that. You can stay true to your health journey without going overboard.

It began in October with Halloween. The lingering candy bowl that was just sitting there until there was no candy left. Then Thanksgiving, where its easy to overeat and generally people linger at the table, eating over 3 times the number of calories than on a normal day. Now the winter holidays are upon us. Family togetherness equates to more snacking, appetizers and big meals followed by decadent desserts.

Can you eat all of these things and still stay on track to meet your health goals? The answer is yes, yes, yes, but in moderation.

Here are some tips to help you handle the holidays:

Have A Plan. Before you put yourself in front of temptation, decide how much you are going to eat. Allow yourself to enjoy the indulgent foods by taking small portions. You can always go back and have another serving.

Don't Be Too Strict. While you may be tempted to be tough on yourself during other times of the year, the holidays are a time you should allow some room for flexibility. It's not fun to try to getting through the evening without enjoying any of the food.

No Regrets. If you do overeat, in the long run it won't make much of a difference. Don't be tempted to just give up and continue poor eating decisions. It's when you have many bad days in a row that you ruin a good diet plan.

Be Mindful of Alcohol. Alcohol tends to flow freely at holiday events and of course you should partake if you choose. While you may be able to get away with having a few drinks spread out over the evening, remember calories add up. Consider the 1:1 method, alternating between alcoholic drinks and water.

Plan Healthy Meals. If you're hosting any holiday events, consider going adding some healthier alternatives. Healthy doesn't always mean bland or unappealing. Get creative and try some new recipes.

Take a Break. During a long evening with family and friends, it's easy to lose track of what you are eating and drinking. Make it a point to take breaks where you know there isn't a plate or a drink in hand. Concentrate on the conversations you're having instead. The holidays are about the food but it's also about the company you are with.

Eat Before You Go. If you're off to a holiday event at someone else's house, eat something healthy before you leave. This is especially important if you know you'll be tempted by all the unhealthy treats that'll be available. If you aren't particularly hungry when you show up, you won't feel such an urge to begin eating. You can also offer to bring a healthy dish so you know that there is an option that keeps you on your path.

Although the holidays center around food there is so much more to them. The holidays are about being thankful for our friends and family, enjoying their company and of course celebrating with the traditional food and drink. Having a balance between both ensures you will be on track rather than derailing all your progress.

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