Instead of dreading the scale on January 1, try challenging yourself to maintain your weight during the bountiful holiday season.

From Halloween to New Year’s Day, we are overwhelmed with sweets and other treats at home, work and holiday parties. Even those with the most will power can cave under the pressure.

Challenge yourself (or your team) to keep up with the following healthy activities from November 1 to December 31, and you will likely be able to curb that holiday weight gain. It takes a little planning but is achievable.

A balance of healthy eating, regular physical activity, and a moderate consumption of treats support weight management even during the holidays. Here are six activities to maintain or start during this holiday season and build healthy habits for the whole year:

  1. Exercise 30 minutes or more every day. Even Thanksgiving,
    Hanukkah, and Christmas.
  2. Eat a healthy breakfast every day. You are less likely to over indulge
    on those cookies at work if you are not starved when you greet the
    treats. Plus, if you don’t feed the body, it shifts into “starvation”
    mode and your metabolism slows down.
  3. Eat a healthy lunch. Skipping meals to “save up calories” for a
    party backfires on most of us. We either over indulge because we
    are famished, or we overestimate the calories available to us after
    a skipped meal. Most people who skip meals to lose weight don’t
  4. Limit treats to one serving or less per day and/or party. If you don’t
    allow yourself some holiday cheer, you might be a grouch or stuff
    yourself later.
  5. Limit alcoholic or sugary beverages to one serving or less per
    day and/or party. Ditto the holiday cheer comment above, but
    remember that even low fat or no fat eggnog will make you fat if
    you drink too much.
  6. Weigh yourself weekly; on the same day at the same time.
    Don’t wait for your Santa suit to become too tight. Take control of
    your weight and your holidays.

Going Deeper

Taking on a challenge like this is hard to do alone, so find some friends and do it together. Add some competition by inviting your family or your team at work to see who can do the most. Put something on the line like a prize for the person with the highest point total. There’s a lot you can to do to make passing on that second (or third, or fourth, or…) helping worth it!

Originally posted in the November Live Well, Work Well Newsletter from Lockton