Did you know this time of year can set you back five to seven pounds? Avoid holiday weight gain with these winning strategies!

1. Plan Indulgences.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying treats, baking cookies, or having a glass of wine at a party. The key is to plan specific treats and times. Choose the parties you’re going to attend and the treats you want to bake and then make a strategy. For example: bake your favorite cookies, save three for yourself and then give the rest away. If you’re going to a party, have a glass of wine with your favorite meal, but skip the bread. The whole day shouldn’t move from one treat to another: which is so easy to do this time of year. For fun healthy treat ideas, go here.
2. Be Flexible.
With all the busyness of the season it’s easy to think, I missed my normal workout, so… Oh Well! Try adjusting your typical schedule by getting in a workout when you can. This could mean taking your running shoes to work and going to the park on your lunch break or doing a fat blasting HIIT session in just 20 minutes in your living room. Whatever you commit to do, stick with it. Think about how good you’ll feel when you’re done. Click here for some quick workout ideas.
3. Make a Protein Promise.
With all the treats tempting us everywhere, steady your cravings with Protein. Try adding 20+ grams of protein to your meals and snacks; this will greatly reduce cravings, sugar spikes and crashes. Have you ever noticed your energy crash after a sugar cookie? Rather than grabbing another one, reach from some healthy protein. Not only will it give you energy, your appetite will be easier to control.
4. Enjoy Yourself.
And I don’t mean enjoy the holidays with the fear of God that you’re gaining weight. People tend to go one of two ways:
1. They have the all or nothing mentality. They tell themselves, “come Jan 1 I’m going all out, so until then I’m going to eat with reckless abandon.” Don’t wait, start balance now! You’ll be so happy you did.
2. The eat and regret group. They eat and instantly start the negative conversation in their head. It sounds like this, ” Ugh why did I eat that, it’s going to take forever to burn that off!” l tend to be in this group, so I take a look at the parties coming up and plan the times I will let myself relax and enjoy…no guilt! Make the no guilt promise!
Follow these guidelines and you’ll begin 2015 healthier and happier. We aren’t supposed to deprive ourselves or overindulge.
It’s in that balanced middle-ground of being honest with ourselves and living in the NOW of life, that we are truly happiest.
Warm wishes from my family to yours for a happy, healthy, and FIT holiday,
Kim Dolan Leto
Photo: My family gets together to bake Christmas cookies on my Birthday every year (December 3), this year we did it at my sister’s house in my hometown. It’s such a fun way to kick off the holiday season.