Do you find yourself having a hard time fitting into your jeans following your Christmas and other holiday festivities? It’s no wonder! Just think of all the fattening and high-calorie foods that are served up at the typical Christmas meal: potatoes of all kinds, gravy, casseroles, pies, and cookies are all staple foods of the season. But what if you’re looking to lose weight (or simply maintain your figure)? Not to worry; we’ve got some simple yet effective tips that’ll help you stay healthy this holiday season.

Start the Day With Some Exercise

It might sound crazy, but trust us. Starting your Christmas morning off with a little exercise can really set the tone for a healthier day. Even a short walk around the block or a quick session on your exercise bike can make all the difference, providing you with the energy boost and motivation you need to eat healthy and avoid over-indulging at your Christmas gatherings.

Cut Back on the Empty Calories

Most people are at least somewhat aware of the calorie content of the foods they eat on Christmas, but many people fail to realize just how many calories they’re drinking! A glass of sweet wine can have 150 calories or more–and your favorite beer? It could contain 200 calories or more, depending on the type. Even if you’re not a drinker, a glass of soda contains around 150 calories.

Try to keep an eye on your calorie intake and avoid empty calories if possible. If you want to indulge in a few adult beverages, try to cut back on the calories by going for a light beer, mixing your liquor with a diet soda, or even diluting your wine with some zero-calorie club soda to create a yummy spritzer.

Learn How to Say No

There’s a lot of peer pressure that goes on around the holidays. How many times has your great aunt forced you to try one of her “world famous” cookies or encouraged you to grab one more helping from the kitchen?

Before you arrive at your holiday gatherings, then, prepare yourself for these encounters and convince yourself to politely decline food offerings. Sometimes, it’s as simple as saying, “no thanks, I’m actually trying to get a kick start on my New Year’s resolution to get in shape.”

Send Everybody Home With Leftovers

If you’re hosting a Christmas party, avoid the temptation of having leftover food in the fridge by sending all of your guests home with a goody bag full of leftovers! Even if they don’t explicitly ask for food to take home, prepare them a bag anyway. More than likely, they’ll take it…and that means less temptation for you. Of course, don’t feel guilty about keeping some leftovers of your favorite healthier dishes, such as green bean casserole or fresh veggies.

Don’t Totally Deprive Yourself

Last but not least, make sure that you let yourself indulge a little bit this Christmas. The key is not to deprive yourself totally; if you feel like you’re always fighting a battle against food, it’s going to be difficult to keep up with your goals in the long-term. In other words, when the dessert comes out, allow yourself to snag a few bits of your favorite pie or cake. Take just enough to satisfy that craving.

Staying healthy around the holidays is something that many people struggle with. If you don’t want to deal with feelings of regret and remorse following Christmas this year, follow these tips and you’ll be feeling great about yourself come 2016. For more information on staying healthy in the coming year, contact us today!