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5 Quick Tips for Avoiding the Holiday Bulge

School’s back in — bringing on the unofficial official end to summer. That totally bums me out because I am a super summer lover. The heat, the sun, the pool. BUT. Fall? I mean, I guess it is all right. I am your typical Pumpkin Spice lover, and do love boots. Did you see how I made Pumpkin Spice a proper noun? I don’t know much about proper grammar, but PS has earned it’s name with me.
 
I earn a living in the fitness industry. People pay me to help them get healthy. Nothing will keep you accountable like feeling the urge to practice what you preach. So, for most of the year (aside from my occasional YOLO weekends), I make pretty decently healthy food choices. It truly is a lifestyle for our family. We are clean eaters. Following the beloved and overused phrase “80/20.” But then. Y’all. Ol’ Starbucks always has to announce the P-S-L!!! The sugar overload, caffeine high, warm and toasty beverage of my dreams. I mean, seriously. I love it. And I am not typically a coffee drinker. But for those few crisp fall months? SB calls my name on the daily. Literally. I drive past one every single day on my way to work. 
 
Pumpkin Spice latte — that is where it all starts. 
 
Then comes Halloween. My toddler took no time figuring out this glorious holiday. And she hit every single house. Every single one. And I don’t throw away good candy. (Only those weird black and orange ones.)
 
Next up? Trusty Thanksgiving. It’s just one day, right? One day we have pre-partied for since All Hallows’ Eve. We all cook for an army. So turkey and stuffing and gravy and PIE. Pie. Oh. My. We gobble till we all wobble. 
 
Who is up next? None other than ol’ cookie-lovin’ St. Nick. Weeks of Christmas parties. Baking cookies for your neighbors. Multiple family gatherings full of wine and food and decadent goodies. Ho Ho Ho!
 
The week between Christmas  and New Year’s is a total BLURRR. What day is it? When did I last wear pants with buttons? Good thing this little black dress helps camouflage those holiday indulgences! It is all champagne and chocolate until we wake up on January 1. The only thing we have that day worth bragging about? Greens black eyed peas. We don’t even want to know the sodium content in that good luck scoop.
 
I read last year that from the start of the “holidays” (which has now become Halloween), the average person gains 9-13lbs. I am not immune. Last year I racked up fourteen pounds. I am a sucker for the Christmas cookie bake and found a love for egg nog.
 
 
So, this year? I am on guard. 
 
I whole-heartedly believe we only live once and deserve to treat ourselves. But this year, I want to try harder to keep it in check. I want to wear skinny jeans to Christmas dinner. And actually breath. Here are a few tips for keeping it in check:
 

Halloween Candy

Pick a few of your favorite candies from the Halloween haul. Make a treat bag for your kid. Then? GET RID OF IT. There is no resisting a trash bag full of Snickers. Get it out of your house.

Thanksgiving

Plan out some healthy alternatives to contribute to your Thanksgiving celebration. A huge super-green salad of spinach and kale can fill up half your plate. Make a fun and tasty vinaigrette. Only go home with veggies and leftover turkey. And if you are the host? Have cute “to go” containers ready to load up for everyone else! 

Holiday Cookies

Bake your cookies. Make those memories. Package them up, and give them to friends, coworkers, etc. OR DON’T. I love receiving homemade cookies, but that means I will eat them. So, if someone is trying to keep it together, don’t tempt them with more goodies. Try making bath salts or sugar scrubs or other homemade indulgences that don’t pack on the calories.

Hydrate

WATER!!! Good ol’ H2O. Get a minimum of 100 ounces every day. More if you have cocktails the night before! Drink all. the. water. Easy, right?

Exercise

Last. Hear me out. Get to the gym! I hear every excuse in the book about why people can’t make it to the gym. But, if you have time to bake cookies and put away twelve mini snickers in a day? You have time to sneak in a 30 minute session at the gym. Commit to a minimum of three days a week. Every week. Through the holidays. Have a plan—and stick to it!

I am not saying it will be easy. The holiday crazy and temptations are REAL and can knock even the most disciplined of us off track. But—you do have control. With a little extra self-discipline and a plan, you can make it to 2018 without having to switch to the stretchy pants!
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