Top 5 Holiday Temptations and How to Avoid Them

(StatePoint) The holiday season means delicious food and parties galore. If you’ve been dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there’s no reason to throw away all your hard work. You just need to make adjustments to your routine so you can enjoy the season guilt-free.

According to Courtney McCormick, dietitian at Nutrisystem, these are the five biggest holiday temptations and how to manage them.

Temptation #1: Parties: To avoid temptation at holiday gatherings, never walk into one hungry. No amount of willpower will stop you from rushing the dessert table if you arrive on an empty stomach. Before you go, have a good, balanced meal that includes protein, veggies and plenty of water. Even if you do treat yourself to a Christmas cookie once there, you’ve done some substantial damage control.

Temptation #2: Skipping Workouts: Exercise frequency drops off dramatically once weather gets cold and messy, according to a Gallup poll. If you don’t have a gym membership, investing in a few key pieces of exercise equipment -- bands, kettle bells -- can help you supplement indoor workouts and maintain an active lifestyle in cold weather.

“I always aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. If I’m having a hard day, I break it up into 10-minute increments -- in the morning, afternoon and at night. It makes it much more manageable,” says Marie Osmond, entertainer and Nutrisystem ambassador.  

Temptation #3: Office Treats: As if your own holiday party indulgences weren’t bad enough, you also have to deal with other people’s leftover treats in your workplace breakroom. To avoid temptation, make sure your meal prep is on point every week and includes snacks to keep you full throughout the day. It’s much easier to politely decline those brownies when you’ve filled up on almonds or light popcorn.

Temptation #4: Holiday Traditions: Turkey with all the trimmings. Gingerbread houses with the kids. Hot chocolate on Christmas Eve. As much as we look forward to these traditions, they can take a toll on a healthy lifestyle. This year, try focusing less on food and more on shared experiences. Trade the annual cookie bake-off for a day of crafting or ice skating; skip your calorie-laden dessert and become the life of the party by bringing board games to play after dinner.

Temptation #5: Liquid Calories: Eggnog, mulled wine, or a festive holiday martini are delicious ways to celebrate the season, but they add up quickly. Alcohol has almost the same number of calories per gram as fat, and a typical hot chocolate with whipped cream from a coffee shop is around 400 calories. If you’re going to indulge, do so in moderation. Peppermint tea is a festive, tasty alternative as well.

For more great tips and tricks on how to stay healthy and happy all season long, visit leaf.nutrisystem.com.

Avoiding temptation doesn’t mean avoiding the fun. Just take careful steps to put yourself in a position where it’s easier to make good choices.

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