Holidays can be both emotionally and physically exhausting, as we try to balance work, family gatherings and food, shopping and staying active!!!! Holiday parties, gingerbread cookies, calorie ridden lattes, comfort foods and tons of alcohol seems to be leering at us from every corner! Instead of capitulating and letting the hustle and bustle undo all your hard work, take a few of the following tips to make better choices!

Don’t make socializing always about food! If you are looking to celebrate the season, think of other things you might do: have a “pampering” party with your friends or significant other – mani/pedi, massage, etc. Volunteer your time for a worthy cause you have been considering, take a yoga, dance or tai chi class. Not only will you explore something NEW, you may also change someone else’s life and lift their spirits during the holidays!

If attending a holiday party and afraid to over-indulge, here are a few safe ways to avoid doing just that: Don’t go to the event hungry in the first place! Have a healthy protein snack before heading out or even a salad.  This way you will not immediately head for the food table and feast on something too rich. Also, offer to bring something and make it a “healthy” platter. For example my boot camp girls and I are having a Christmas Party tomorrow. We have opted for a Mediterranean-inspired menu with salads, chicken kebabs, veggies and hummus. And don’t think it won’t be fabulous!

If dining at a restaurant – look at their menu online before going. find a healthy choice you like and are willing to stick to once you arrive. Sometimes in the hurry to make a decision, we may not make the best one.

Drinking can add a lot of empty calories to your caloric intake. So choose wisely and stay away from overly-sweet, caloric drinks. Overall, you should monitor your alcohol intake not only for the calories but also for your safety. Break up your drinks with water to avoid dehydration or even “cheat” sometimes by switching your cocktail for a glass of seltzer water and lime.

Alcoholic drinks are not the only culprit! Make calorie loaded drinks an occasional treat not an every day drink. Intaking an excess of 3500 calories leads to a pound of weight gain!!! So if you are consuming these beverages daily, it will take you only a week to pack a pound – just through drinks. So just think before you place that coffee order. Is it worth it?

Exercising is a MUST during the holidays. Not only does it help reduce stress, but it also takes away the feelings of guilt that sometimes come at this time of year. So take classes, hit the gym, take the stairs whenever you can. Walk, walk, walk and exercise, too.  Ask yourself right now! When are you working out NEXT???

As always the holidays are a great time to give someone or yourself the “gift of wellness.” Please call me to learn about gift certificates from dare to be fit! For a list of classes, check out www.dare-tobefit.com

Have a very happy, joyful and prosperous holiday season!