It’s that time of year again. The holidays are upon us, and the only thing on our minds is how we’re going to survive them, preferably without gaining weight. It can be a scrap to stay healthy during this time of year, but If you follow these helpful tips, then it doesn’t need to be. However, sticking to your weight-loss goals and even losing a few pounds while still enjoying this special time of year may be possible by utilizing these recommended strategies:

SHARE YOUR GOALS

You were making sure someone has had enough to eat, maybe a person’s primary love language for many of us. Stockings filled with sweets, meals that have been highly processed cheeses and meats, and reminders to “eat, eat!” from your relatives aren’t much use when you’re trying to lose weight. Micah Siva, a registered dietitian, recommends informing your family and friends of your health objective and soliciting their help. They may perhaps even agree to stick with non-food gift exchanges, or at the very least, stop pushing you for more food.

RELEASE FOOD GUILT

A gentle reminder: You are not required to eat food that has been provided to you as a gift or made for you, according to Julie Cunningham, RD. She adds that if you don’t like something (namely, fruitcake and eggnog), you should not feel guilty about giving it away or tossing it in the garbage.

FRESHEN UP YOUR SERVING STYLE

Instead of passing up creamy sides or your favorite dishes, be inventive with how you serve them. “Make the most magnificent selections in personalized portions to keep people from feeling committed and to make everyone feel special,” advises Jackie Newgent, RD. For example, use ramekins for breakfast casseroles, muffin cups for stuffing, mini pumpkin pies in regular glasses, or serve holiday drinks in slim, elegant glasses.

ADD A LITTLE SPICE TO HOLIDAY SWEETS

If you know you’ll be eating cookies anyhow, here’s a simple method to make them taste better and lower in calories. Reduce the amount of sugar by 25% (for every cup in the recipe, use 3/4 cup), and add more flavor with a little extra vanilla extract or spices like cinnamon. Another solution: Use applesauce as a substitute for sugar to add more fiber.

INTRODUCE NEW HOLIDAY TRADITIONS

Instead of considering how to lose weight, consider, “What can I do that makes me happy?” Siva advised. New customs are simple to start and provide a welcome respite from temptation by spending quality time together with your family. Take a family bike ride or go sledding, for example. Visit your neighbors’ homes to see the holiday lights, play a neighborhood kickball game, or take a thrilling journey to enjoy spectacular views of snowy mountains. “You could also volunteer by cleaning out your home and donating food, clothing, and other items to a local shelter or a charity you care about,” Siva adds.

REMEMBER THE BIGGER PICTURE

“The layoff is the best time of year, and one dinner, one week, or one holiday won’t destroy your progress or objectives, so be gentle with yourself,” suggests Siva. People who gain weight over the holidays, but want to lose it, should do it with regular weigh-ins. New Year’s resolutions that are fun and sustainable are a good way to do this.

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