Most women gain 7-12 lbs during the holidays.

Here are 10 tips to help you stay lean and fit and still be able to indulge during those hectic holiday weeks:

1. Create a plan ahead of time.

Before the holidays sneak up on you, create a plan for incorporating fitness and good nutrition into your daily routine. Evaluate your holiday schedule and then determine how much time you will realistically have available to devote to working out and/or eating healthy meals.

2. Don’t put your fitness goals on hold until the New Year.

If you can’t exercise as often during this time period as you normally do, adjust appropriately. Don’t use the excuse that since you don’t have time for your full workout you just won’t workout at all. Instead accept your limited availability and simply reduce the frequency and/or duration of your exercise. It’s much better to cut your fitness time in half than to completely eliminate it.

3. Don't Starve yourself on the day of the party or dinner
On the day of a party, be sure to eat regularly all day long.

One of the secrets to avoid the holiday weight gain is to eat small meals throughout the day consisting of some lean proteins like chicken or low fat dairy products.
By doing this you will keep your metabolism elevated and when you are at the party you are less likely to overindulge, not to mention if you starve yourself all day and save up your calories, your body can not process all those calories at once, and as a result you gain fat!

4. Schedule your workouts.

Mark them on the calendar and set-aside time to complete them. Consider them as important as any other appointment or event you have marked on your calendar. One of my secret fat-loss tips to burn the most fat is doing a cardio session first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This will not only accelerate your fat-burning process but you will have more energy to shop longer!

Also incorporate weight training, having more lean muscle will speed up your metabolism, and keep your body lean and toned. When you weight train your metabolism is elevated even more throughout the day then just doing cardio.
In my ten years of experience I have seen too many women stop with their exercise program during the holidays. Not only will this make you tired, but it does not allow your body to burn off those extra holiday calories, and it takes twice as long to get your body into shape when you start after the New Year.

5. When at a party, start by eating some of the healthier foods

For example,vegetable sticks (without dip), fruit pieces, plain chicken pieces, etc. Then move on to some of the less healthy (but yummy) offerings. You will be less likely to overindulge on these foods if you have already filled-up on some of the healthier items. Yet, you will not feel deprived or unsatisfied.

6. Sample a little bit of everything.

When presented with a large variety of food options, it’s tempting to want to eat everything.
Rather than eating one large slice of chocolate cake or a huge plate of meatballs, select a sampling of bite size pieces of several of the desert or appetizer offerings. This way you get the enjoyment of trying many different foods without overeating.

7. Exercise at home.
You’ll be more inclined to follow-through on your exercise commitment if you don’t have to drive somewhere to do your workout. Plus, you won’t waste any time on driving, parking, the locker room or waiting to use equipment.

Working out at home requires very little equipment (it even can be equipment-free) and is quite inexpensive. Check out my fat-burning workouts that you can do at your home

8. Avoid wasting calories on alcoholic beverages.

The average alcoholic drink contains 150-200 calories per glass. Indulge in just 2-3 drinks and you’ve drunk the equivalent calories of an entire meal. If you partake in these beverages, choose wisely. For example, instead of having a full glass of wine, try mixing half a glass of wine with sparkling water or with a diet soda. This will help cut your calories in half. Drinking excessive alcohol will also stop your metabolism from burning FAT! Not too mention that feeling you get when you wake up the next day feeling tired and dehydrated.

9. When running errands or shopping, be sure to pack some fat-burning snacks to have on-hand.

Some great examples are my pumpkin protein bars from my book “Fat Burning Recipes for Women on The Go”. Then after you work-up a big appetite, you won’t be tempted to grab something at the mall food court or the fast food restaurant on the way home.

10. Tell yourself, “I will allow myself to indulge a little and also make healthier choices”, the Power is the choosing…..when you allow yourself to have what you want you are less likely to overindulge. One of the most powerful things I teach women is the mental aspect, particularly visualization. What you can do is to picture yourself making healthier choices and feeling great in your best holiday outfit.

Author's Bio: 

Heather Picken,ISSA/P.C.P.T.,Women's 30+ Metabolic Specialist & Motivational Coach. She is the creator of The 6-Week Ultimate Fat Burning & Instant Motivational System, exclusively for women 30+( and has a weekly podcast show, Feeling Like A Millionwhere she discusses the best fat-burning secrets for women. Sign up for her FREE podcast here: