How to Cut Calories During the Holidays

Whether it was the leftover Halloween candy or the third helping of mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner, if you are like the rest of us, you probably fell off the “dietary wagon” one way or another this holiday season.

So in an effort to keep those buttons from bursting, you have made a plan to be on your best behavior for the next three weeks. But just because you are counting calories (and who isn’t!), doesn’t mean you have to mutter “no thanks” to every holiday treat that comes your way. Here are a few ways to stay calorie conscious and still leave room for the occasional indulgence during the remainder of the holidays.

Sarah on “Accommodate For Extra Calories”

If you are like me, you maintain a love-hate relationship with the holidays. Sure the home cooked means are wonderful, but once the New Year rolls around, there is nothing worse than stepping onto your bathroom scale and seeing the damage done. So to give myself room for extra calories without packing on extra pounds, I make a conscious effort plan around the dinner parties. By planning a low-cal breakfast and lunch, I save myself enough calories to enjoy the holiday fare once the evening rolls around. This way, there is no reason to feel guilty when I indulge in a slice of pie, and maybe seconds too, during the festivities.

Alicia on “Be Creative”

With all the holiday hustle and bustle, who has the time to hit the gym? So in an effort to stay trim during this time of year, I find creative ways to incorporate exercise into my everyday routine. Whether I take a walk around the block to admire the holiday lights or purposefully parking on the top floor of the parking structure, I am sure to grab every chance I can to burn a few extra calories. And if you have the opportunity to include your family- do so. Because nothing works up a sweat or the laughs quite like chasing your kids around the ice skating rink.

Here are three ways to keep on top of the calories this holiday season:

#1. Take Charge
While you may not be able to control every morsel that lands on your plate this holiday season, keep focused on the meals you do have a say in. Since holiday dinners are most likely to be the meals with the most extra calories, make an effort to find guilt free options for breakfast and lunch. Whether substituting your morning bagel with a yogurt or option for a fat free dressing on your salad during lunch, there are plenty of opportunities to save calories without missing out on those holiday goodies.

#2. Plan it Out
To make sure you maintain those good intentions, take a few moments to plan out your weekly meals. Make a seven-day menu for breakfast and lunch and be sure to include enough variety from day to day; because nothing makes you give into the devil on your shoulder faster than the monotony of eating the same meal over and over. Once the end of the week rolls around, repeat your seven-day menu and you are good to go.

#3. The Makeshift Mall Workout

During the holiday season, if you don’t have time to hit the gym- no worries! There are plenty of opportunities to burn off extra calories and still get everything on your list accomplished. Next time you are at the mall, consider it to be a makeshift workout. Forgo the urge to valet the care and brave the parking lot, sans elevators. While you are in the mall lugging around those bags, take the stairs. And once you get home, wrap your own presents. Theses quick calorie fixes are so effortless you will feel like you are cheating, well almost!