So. Did you eat too much turkey? Or was it the dessert table that did you in? Skipping your workout today? Bad idea. Some folks gain up to ten pounds in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Don’t be one of those people! This year, don’t wait until January to set resolutions, start practicing your new year’s resolutions now.

You don’t have to feel any guilt over enjoying the holidays with family and friends, but you can have some control over your calorie intake if you put a bit of thought into it. If you avoid weight gain this month, you will have less work to do come January, and you’ll feel so much better. This year, set goals to eat well and stay active every week of November and December, and reserve extra calories for a little splurge on the special days and New Year’s Eve.

  • Eat a balanced breakfast every morning. Include some carbohydrate (whole grain cereal, whole grain toast or English Muffins, fresh fruit) and protein (low fat milk, cottage cheese, eggs, nut butter).
  • If you are working this week, be sure to pack a healthy, light lunch that includes two servings of fresh fruit – one to eat with lunch, one to eat as an afternoon snack. Skip the vending machine by planning ahead with a snack from home.
  • Drink plenty of water through the day and limit alcohol on weeknights.
  • If you are home for the holidays, use the “out of sight, out of mind” technique. Don’t overbuy – watch out for those tricky “end cap” displays at the store. Only buy what you truly need and can use.
  • If you start baking, keep the cookies in the freezer unless you are having guests. And do you really need 3 dozen of 8 varieties of cookies?
  • Cook light, low fat meals for supper (shoot for a lean meat or fish and a cooked vegetable). Plan 3 meals each day to avoid “grazing” at the cocktail parties.
  • Schedule in your exercise ahead of time, and find no excuses to skip it! On Sunday night, think about what times you will fit activity in each day this week. Even if it is a twenty minute walk or fifteen minute session on your elliptical machine or treadmill – do it.
  • Consider a food journal.  The Calorie Counter Journal for Dummies® is a great tool that not only offers journal pages, but also is a great read to help you think about how you can make some easy changes for better health. After all, some things never change – less calories in and more calories out (burned) continues to be the formula for weight loss. The hard part is changing your behavior and habitual ways of doing things.

Stay wise, and keep a handy reference around to remind you that this year, you can and will lose weight, by understanding how those extra calories are coming and going. Cheers to a healthy, balanced, and enjoyable holiday season!