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Ah, the holiday season. A time for giving, spending time together, relaxing, and unfortunately overstuffing ourselves and gaining excess weight. Probably from simply sitting around and relaxing a little too much! So how can we fight this or is it inevitable? While tough, it is certainly doable. The following are 5 tips for beating the holiday bulge:

1. Plan to workout before the big meal. Your body is in a great state for one to two hours following a bout of extreme exercise. It needs to replenish glycogen (hello mash potatoes and cranberry sauce) and repair torn muscle fibers (bring on the turkey). Also, as we know, our metabolism is heightened following strenuous exercise, which means our bodies are more adapt to burning these calories than storing them.

2. Bring your own dish. Lets face it, you can’t trust someone else to make a dish you love to eat and expect it to be healthy. We all know that things taste better when made with 5 sticks of b
utter and a few cups of sugar. So, decide on a dish you want to be in charge of and then look for ways to make it both delicious and more nutritious. You’d be surprised what you can substitute without sacrificing taste. At least then you know there’s at least one good option.

3. Don’t skip meals to pig out later. This is something that more often than not puts us into a classic binge situation. You smell the food, you see it, and you are STARVING. Recipe for disaster! You eat too fast and too much. Eat normally and then take your time to enjoy the holiday meal without overstuffing.

4. Remember not to drink your calories. The eggnog is flowing freely, and while it’s a treat to the taste, remember it does have calories. It’s easy, especially in a social setting, to talk and laugh and drink, but it adds up-FAST!

5. Indulge – a little. Ok so lets preface this by pointing out that we said a little. We believe that everyone should be able to indulge, but in moderation. Think of it this way, you’re more likely to be satisfied after a little bit of dessert with your holiday meal than you are watching everyone else scarf theirs down. Plus it makes it less likely that you’ll sneak off with half a pie when no ones looking and go crazy because you tried to deny yourself.

Can the battle be won? Definitely. Does it take time and effort on your part? Of course. You have to be willing to put in the work (which we know can be tough during a season with little available time) if you want to succeed. We know you can do it! Keep moving towards your goals, and look at the holidays, not as a roadblock, but as a small insignificant speed bump.