Everybody loves the holidays!  It’s a time to rejoice and relax, the season for having fun and letting go. While it’s wonderful to celebrate, it’s not wonderful to wake up one morning and realize that you’re double your size before the fun started. Here are some tips and tricks on how you can keep your fit self while still enjoying yourself

1. Eat a healthy snack before going out

Munch on some fruits or nuts or even have a small, healthy meal before going out to meet friends or family at restaurants. That way, you won’t be starving and tempted to binge-eat whatever’s on the menu.

2. Drink a glass of water before and after eating

If you don’t want or don’t have time to eat a healthy snack before going out, just drink a glass of water before eating so you will feel a little full, avoiding eating more than you should. When you feel almost full, drink another glass of water. Filling yourself with water won’t make you gain fat but will make you adequately hydrated instead.

3. Eat more protein

Let’s say you’re standing in the middle of a hearty buffet. Cut or lessen the carbs and have as much protein as you want. Protein digests harder and longer than carbs so it will make you feel fuller for longer periods of time. Plus it helps with healthy muscle growth which will make your metabolism faster. Efficient for burning fat!

4. Bring your own dessert

If you’re visiting a friend or family member in their home, you can bring your share of a healthier version of dessert. It’s always nice to have something to contribute to a gathering and you can enjoy your sweets guilt-free.

5. Chew slowly

Pace yourself. Savor the texture and flavor of each bite. Remember that the body doesn’t detect satiety as fast as you can swallow your food.

6. Eat more fibers

Snack on fruits and vegetables instead of heavy, starchy carbs such as mashed potatoes or pasta. Like protein, foods high in fiber helps keep you feeling fuller, longer so you won’t be tempted to get second helpings of the starchy carbs.

7. Use smaller plates

When you use smaller plates, it can trick you into thinking that there’s more food on the plate than there actually is. This optical illusion is a great way to control your portions. It can also help you avoid piling more food unto the plate since there’s no more room, thus preventing you from overeating.

8. Eat more healthy fats

Not butter or oil! If you skip creamy salad dressings and dips for some guacamole and olive oil or help yourself to some flax seeds and nuts, it will make you feel full and give you the energy to last an entire night of partying.

9. Avoid refined sugar

The holidays aren’t complete without cakes, pastries, chocolates, and cookies. But we all know that too much refined sugar is harmful to our health so it’s better to stick to natural sugars found in fruits instead. If you absolutely must eat sweets, keep the portions under control!

10. Learn how to say no

Although friends and relatives may force second helpings on your plate or encourage you to eat more than you can handle, be firm in saying “no”. Just say that you’re full at the moment or that you’re just taking a break from eating so nobody will get offended. Try to walk away from the dinner table or kitchen and chat with others who are done eating instead.

11. Chew some gum

Chewing gum will help curb your appetite plus it will keep your mouth busy as you socialize, helping you to pass on the table full of sweets and hor d’ouevres.

12. Take it easy on the booze

Remember to avoid drinking calories. Alcohol has a lot of calories plus when you’re drunk, it lowers your inhibitions which means that you won’t care of you eat another cookie on top of the whole bag that you already had.

13. Meditate

The problem for most of us is emotional eating. If you eat to express feelings like joy, excitement, or anxiety, it will cause uncontrollable eating urges especially when surrounded by food during the holidays. Learning how to relax the mind, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques will help emotional eaters control their urges.

14. Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep is associated with changes in appetite, which makes us crave for sugary, fatty foods, which makes us gain fat. Ensure that you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

15. Don’t skip exercise

The holidays aren’t an excuse to stop exercising! On the contrary, you should exercise harder since you’re eating more than usual. If you’re traveling, makes use of hotel gyms or bring portable exercise accessories so you won’t have an excuse not to do it. You can always run outdoors too if you’re staying in a place with no space to exercise. Move it or lose it!