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By Taeler Christine

If there’s one thing the holidays are inevitable for, it’s good food and a lot of it. People will typically handle holidays one of two ways: avoid outings and parties like the plague or accept weight gain and eat ruthlessly.

Good news. There is balance between the two, and it’s outline by a few simple tips.

1. Keep your routine
Regardless of what parties, activities or dinners you go to, keep your routine as constant as possible. Start every day with a plan. Make sure that includes tracking your food intake, keeping up with water consumption and eating foods that you typically do. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to take nibbles of everything that co-workers bring into work.

Sometimes, staying on track means packing food. Trust me, it wouldn’t be the first time I packed a tupperware dinner to a holiday party. When I do, I’m less likely to overindulge.

2. Plan a workout
Even on Thanksgiving morning, I make time for a workout. The best option is to find a gym that is open and get a day pass. If you’re somewhere where that is not an option, do some kind of HIIT workout to get your heartrate up.

A simple workout could involve rounds of burpees, push ups, jump lunges and plank jacks. Do this for time or reps for 15 minutes to start your day off.

3. Make lists
Your mind is racing at a million miles per hour during the holidays. Always keep lists of where you need to be with a few reminders or alarms set.

4. Practice the “hell yeah” mentality
When you head into Christmas, chances are there will be tons of food you’ve looked forward to all year, including Aunt Ruth’s cookies. When I go into a feast, which I would consider Thanksgiving or Christmas, I take the day off from tracking. I start the day off with a high protein breakfast with plenty of water. At the dinner, I fill my plate with what I’m craving. I don’t snack on things just because they’re sitting out.

Rule: If I would regret not eating it the next day, I eat it. If I would pass it up any other day, I skip it.

5. Get back on track the next day
We all go overboard at times. The worst thing you can do is punish yourself with low calories, cardio and guilt. Chug water. Stick to your diet. Get a workout in. Move on.

6. Memories over macros
Remember, life is too short to track every calorie. If you are on top of your fitness game 365 days a year (or 363), one day will not harm you. Expect to feel bloated for a few days, but know it will all settle.

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