Here's your first holiday tip from spark 20 ways to keep holiday weight gain at bay!
1. Track your food. If you do nothing else during the holidays, track your food diligently every day.
2. Plan your holiday meals. Pre-track your food for the day. Find places to cut back on calories in order to splurge a little more on your holiday meal.
3. Look up calories before you bite. Use SparkRecipes.com to calculate the nutrition information in your favorite holiday foods so you can add them to your tracker. If you really want to eat a cookie from a co-worker, open your Nutrition Tracker first and decide whether it fits in with your plan
4. Make fitness a priority. Just remember this: Burn it (exercise) to earn it (extra holiday calories).
5. Schedule your workout like an appointment. Add your workouts to your calendar so that other obligations don't get in the way of your gym time.
6. Bring your own food. Heading to a party and don't know what's in the food? Pick a healthy, low-cal recipe that you can bring. And no matter what kind of food is there, you'll have at least one dish you can eat with confidence.
7. Limit alcohol. It lowers inhibitions, making it more likely that you'll forget about your nutrition plan and overindulge. Oh and yes, alcohol does contain calories, so add every drink to your Nutrition Tracker.
8. Re-gift treats and food. Just because they give them does not mean you have to eat them! There are plenty of opportunities to re-gift food gifts over the holidays: bring them to parties, potlucks, and other get-togethers.
9. Bring your food to work. If you feel guilty about re-gifting share it in a communal space like the office café for others to partake of as they choose.
10. Don't make mountains out of molehills. It's easy to go over your calories one day and feel like a failure. But remember that it takes much more than one day of overeating to thwart your progress. Accept your slip-ups, learn from them and move on.
11. Add 10 extra minutes of cardio to your days. Some experts say that adding just 10 minutes of vigorous exercise to your usual workout routine can counter the effects of a little extra holiday eating.
12. Maintain your active lifestyle. Remember that "running" errands isn't the same as running—or exercising. But the more activity you can add to your days (in addition to planned fitness) the better off you'll be.
13. Keep an emergency snack on hand. Stashing some healthy and portable foods in your car, purse, and desk drawer can help satisfy your cravings and prevent you from going overboard on all the wrong foods
14. Watch your portions. There's nothing wrong with enjoying some once-a-year favorites if you keep your portions in check.
15. Focus on people. At parties and gatherings, enjoy the good conversation and activities instead of hovering around the food table.
16. Drink your water. Keep a cup of water in hand at parties, sip water between bites, and meet your daily quota to help prevent overeating.
17. Wake up with exercise. People who exercise first thing in the morning are more likely to exercise regularly than those who exercise later in the day.
18. Don't act as if it's your only chance to eat. With every food that crosses your path, remind yourself that you'll have plenty of chances later to eat. Forgo the "last supper" mentality. Honor your true feelings of hunger and fullness.
19. Slow down. Savor your food and the experience of eating. You'll eat less, feel more satisfied, and recognize feelings of hunger before it's too late.
20. Keep your eye on the prize. Before you take a bite or hit snooze instead of hitting the gym, remember your goals.
| current weight: 158.0