(NaturalNews) It's that time of year again. The time between Thanksgiving and the New Year's is associated not only with "Deck the Halls" and "Trim the Tree," but also with over-eating and over-indulging. During the six weeks of back-to-back holidays that includes Thanksgiving, Kwanza, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year's, it's easy to pack on the pounds with all the parties, celebrations, and events if you don't have a plan. Perhaps you won't lose any weight during the holiday season, but with these tips you'll at least have fun maintaining your current weight and not add anymore around the middle.
This is not the time to begin a new diet. Think about maintaining your weight, not about losing weight during the holiday season. Staying rigid can lead to over-eating. Forget about the idea of being "perfect," it is impossible to be perfect during the most ideal circumstances; much less during a time of endless buffets and parties.
Eat before the party
Never arrive at a party or event hungry. Eating a light, healthy snack such as raw vegetables with salsa, an apple, or small green smoothie before an event or party will leave you better equipped to make better food choices.
Love the idea of getting out the rolling pins, cookie cutters, and holiday apron? This year, replace your traditional fat and sugar laden recipes with healthy new ones.
Don't make it all about the food
Spend more time "Decking the halls" and "Trimming the Tree" instead of making candy and cookies. Try to encourage family and friends to join you in games, nature walks, or crafts to take the focus off food.
Always bring a healthy dish to the party
At least you know you'll have one thing to eat if everything else is off limits. Plus others will probably be thankful for the healthy option.
Don't drink your calories
Whether it's in the form of alcohol or sugary drinks, most beverages have way too many calories and unnecessary sugar. Try this low calorie spritzer instead: mix two ounces of wine, four ounces club soda, a splash of cranberry juice, and a hint of lime.
Be the last in line for buffets
This rule works well for several reasons: 1) When you are the first in line then you are usually finished by the time the last person starts and you will be more inclined to go back for seconds. 2) Once others have picked through the buffet, its usually doesn't look as appetizing. 3) By the time you finish and have thoughts of going back for seconds, there is nothing left.
Enjoy your favorites
Pick two or three of your favorite foods of the season and enjoy those in moderation. No skipping meals - Even if you overeat at one meal, go light on the next. Have a small plate of raw vegetables with hummus, a simple salad, or a small bowl of soup. Skipping meals has been linked to increased glucose levels and even weight gain.
Don't skip out on exercise
Between all the celebrations and everyday schedules, life can get extra hectic during the holiday season. Maintaining an exercise routine this time of year is very important. Exercise can not only help burn some of those extra calories you may be consuming, but it's also great for stress release.
About the author: Catrell Cooney is a holistic health coach, personal trainer, Zumba Instructor, world traveling vegetarian, and wellness travel specialist. On Catrell''s site The Wandering Coconut, she shares recipes, products reviews, travel and health tips. Her and her husband also own and operate their own travel agency at Cooney World Adventures specializes in wellness and adventure travel. Plus they assist individuals traveling with dietary restrictions.