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6 Ways To Indulge and Still Avoid Weight Gain This Holiday Season

Dieting is hard enough; it doesn't have to be harder by leaving you out of the fun!

Dieting is really hard to stick with. Counting calories is even more challenging during holidays and at special occasions or gatherings. But what if we told you there are ways to indulge and still avoid weight gain this holiday season? We're here with some valuable tips today, so get ready for some real treats.

Consider these tricks an early holiday gift, because 'tis the season! The person to thank for kicking up your office parties and family traditions a few notches is Laura Burak, MS, RD, founder of GetNaked® Nutrition and author of Slimdown with Smoothies.

Losing weight just got so much more tolerable! Read on to learn some necessary tricks that can help you get through special events and weekends during the holidays—and whenever you need to throughout the year. Dieting is hard enough; it doesn't have to be harder by leaving you out of the fun! Here are six ways to indulge and still avoid weight gain. Read on, and for more, don't miss 50 Secret Reasons You're Gaining Weight, Says Science.

Stand by your own 'non-negotiable' rules.

concept of saying no to cookies and sugar and yes to healthy food choices

Burak suggests making rules and limits to stand by that work for you, saying, "Set some of what I call 'non-negotiables' for most days of your life, no matter the month or holiday season, so that your body is able to naturally stay at a comfortable point in weight while you also indulge." Burak explains your weight should never fluctuate drastically. It's perfectly acceptable for it to shift within a few pounds up or down.

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Hydrate first thing every morning.

woman holding water glass hydration concept to avoid weight gain

Drink a sufficient amount of water every morning before anything else, and don't stop there. Burak advises, "Make sure you reach your goal each day which you can estimate by dividing your weight in pounds in half and focusing on that many ounces."

Drinking from a straw and a large water bottle is helpful since it involves fewer fill-ups. Burak adds, "Staying hydrated and filling up on water contributes to balance and better portion sizes of rich foods."

Move every single day.

fitness woman running in the snow, demonstrating how to stay fit in the cold

"Daily movement is another factor in preventing holiday (or anytime) weight gain," Burak says. Whether you go on a quick bike ride, a short walk or run, or even a yoga class, just get in some activity rather than sitting around. A healthy habit of staying active throughout each day makes wellness feel more natural. It's more likely you will continue to maintain a desirable weight that works for you.

Burak warns, "Be super mindful, especially during the food and party-filled season that comes along with the holidays."

Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.

healthy bowl of butternut squash soup, well-balanced meal to avoid weight gain

It's essential to eat meals that are balanced each day to keep your hunger and blood sugar levels in check. Another reason? "You will be much less likely to grab handfuls of gifted chocolates in the break room at work or go to happy hour and indulge in the pigs in a blanket and other goodies after too many drinks," Burak points out.

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Choose what food items matter most.

christmas cookies on baking tray

Burak suggests, "Think about what matters most to you when making food choices and meet somewhere in the middle." She adds, "I will include protein and veggies in my dinner but indulge in a slice of cake after because it's my favorite cake and worth it to me instead of just mindlessly snacking on all the extras lying around, especially during the holidays."

Keep a journal to hold yourself accountable.

woman journaling at home over the holidays

Burak recommends that her clients maintain food journals whenever they struggle throughout the year. She explains, "Accountability and seeing what you're doing during chaotic times is very helpful for not gaining weight while also indulging in the foods that are extra rich during the holidays."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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