This article is written by Sam from www.CoreFitCoaching.com, one of our Milspo Spotlight features!

With the holiday season comes parties, cookie making, celebrations, and gatherings galore! If you’re trying to stay on track and be mindful of what you eat, you may find the holiday season very difficult to maneuver. Hot chocolate with the kids, shared bottles of wine with the adults, a slice of pumpkin pie at the work party can eventually add up! Have no fear – its possible to have an enjoyable holiday season AND to stay on track with your health goals. Here are 8 ways you can stay on track during the holidays…

#1 – Don’t restrict! 

Nothing is off limits! When we consider things off limits or “bad”, it actually makes us want to eat them. Just have a plan for what meals or favorite treats you will go all out on and enjoy! Think about a couple of big meals and 3-4 parties where you can just show up and have fun. You’ll have much better results overall. 

One more time for the people in the back – nothing is off limits! 

#2 – Never show up to a party starving 

On Party Day, be sure to eat throughout the day. Don’t think you can skip all your meals and then have excess calories for the party. It doesn’t work that way. 

A protein shake before the party is a great way to help stay full and get that protein in! (Most of the holiday treats are sugar and carb-packed so we have to try a little harder to get our protein.) Fruit is another great choice at a party because it helps you stay full longer. 

Not sure what protein shakes are good? Shoot me a DM on Instagram @samcorefit and I will help you! 

#3 – Be mindful while you eat 

Take smaller bites and enjoy your food instead of shoveling it in. 

You’re at a party to be social, so make sure you’re present in conversations instead of making food your total focus. 

#4 – Be a picky eater 

You rarely hear me say this! I love food. But just because you show up at the Christmas buffet doesn’t mean you have to eat everything. Take a minute, survey the food and decide which foods are your must-haves. You don’t have to eat everything to be polite! 

#5 – Get in some at-home workouts 

Research shows that gym attendance plummets in Nov and Dec. You are 100% going to be too busy for the gym most days, even if you’re a gym rat. These are the perfect months for at-home workouts. 

Try this one!!

#6 – Stay hydrated 

It’s really easy to mix up thirst cues with hunger cues. A good goal is to shoot for half your body weight in ounces of water a day. My favorite trick is the 8 oz. rule. I don’t even measure it… I just drink 8 big gulps before and after I eat anything, even a snack. This also gives you a moment to think about what you’re about to eat. 

drink water to stay on track

#7 – Try to get adequate sleep 

Getting enough sleep helps your brain and hormone levels regulate. It’s also important when it comes to hunger cues and focus! According to Harvard Medical School, many of the costs of poor sleep go unnoticed. Medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, develop over long periods of time and result from a number of factors including insufficient sleep. Most experts have concluded that getting enough high-quality sleep may be as important to health and well-being as nutrition and exercise. 

#8 – Make smart choices with alcohol 

Drinking reduces your inhibitions and increases your hunger. It also packs on the calories. But you don’t have to totally abstain. Just pick what days you want to drink carefully, just like you’re choosing which meals you’ll indulge in. It also helps to drink with dinner instead of before or after. You’re inclined to eat more if you drink before dinner because of those lowered inhibitions. Make smart choices with what you drink too… like choosing wine over a mixed drink, because lets be honest… it’s much easier to chug down a delicious mixed drink plus its packed with sugar and calories.

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