1. Hydrate – drink lots of water to prevent dehydration and hunger cravings. It's easy to mistake thirst for hunger, so start a new habit of drinking a large glass of water every hour.
2. Be Active – don't use the holidays as an excuse to exercise less. A little more activity each day can help you burn the extra calories you are sure to consume. This doesn't mean going to the gym 7 days a week, but it does mean looking for opportunities to walk a little more or squeeze in a few squats or pushups while you are waiting for the water to boil. Look for a parking spot at the end of the lot. Take the stairs. Enjoy taking the scenic route to burn a few additional calories every day. It will help alleviate stress and aid in digestion too.
3. Sample Smart – instead of depriving yourself, enjoy a taste of everything you want. Just don't overdo it with a full serving size of everything you want. Use the smallest plate available and don't pile your food on top of other food. Select the simplest foods on the buffet and fill up on fruits and vegetables.
4. Socialize – holiday parties aren't just about food. Enjoy catching up with friends and focus on something other than food. Be aware of your alcohol consumption when socializing because even if you aren't eating extra calories, you can drink them. Enjoy a glass of sparkling water with lime between each alcoholic beverage to help you stay hydrated and in control of extra calories sneaking in from food and drinks.
5. Snack First – have you ever gone grocery shopping hungry? Going to a party hungry is even worse! Have a healthy snack or light meal before heading out and drink a liter of water on your way. You'll arrive ready to socialize instead of ready to devour the food.
Remember, the holidays are about celebrating! Create a plan and do your best to stick with it. If you aren't perfect don't beat yourself up. Tomorrow is a new day.
Kristen Horler is CEO and founder of Baby Boot Camp, offering prenatal and postpartum fitness and nutrition program for women. With over 12 years of professional fitness experience, Kristen is a continuing education provider for the American Council on Exercise, 2012 IDEA Health & Fitness Program Director of the Year Finalist, and author of Baby Boot Camp: The New Mom's 9-Minute Fitness Solution (Sterling 2010). For more information visit www.babybootcamp.com.