The holidays are here, and every year many people tend to put on weight. Parties are happening from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, and it’s not easy to keep your waistline from taking a hit. However, there are some steps you can take to ensure that doesn’t happen or to reduce the bulge at least.

You can keep fit during the holidays without a lot of effort or sacrifice, but it’s going to take some planning and some willpower. If you want to learn how to stay in shape over the holidays, keep reading.

Keep Your Stomach Fed

You should always have breakfast during the holiday season and drink lots of water. Have small meals or snacks throughout the day. One of the biggest problems people run into is they show up to a party or holiday dinner extremely hungry. They wait all day and plan on pigging out on their favorite holiday dishes. When that happens, you overindulge and eat way too much. If you have a proper breakfast, drink plenty of water, and don’t show up having barely eaten all day, you can save yourself gluttony.

Load Up On Veggies

Often, you’ll find there aren’t many veggies at holiday parties. However, you can combat this by bringing some as your dish of choice. You don’t have to refrain from eating less healthy dishes but ensure you get a proper number of vegetables. You should also eat veggies with meals before the party. Doing so will keep your digestive system working properly and help combat any overeating which tends to happen this time of year.

Keep Active

If you already have a regular workout routine, stick to it. You should consider adding to what you’re already doing to counteract the extra eating and drinking that inevitably happens over the holiday season. If you don’t already have an exercise routine, you should consider finding ways to be active. Whether setting a regular racquetball match with a friend, shooting hoops, or taking nightly walks, any extra activity you do will be valuable come January. When you’re out at a party, you should have a walk around the block before and after eating as well. Another idea is to wait 20 minutes between servings.

Just Say No

Food pushers tend to come out of the woodwork around the holidays; don’t succumb to them. Aunt Betty will always push whatever dish she brings to the party, and one serving will never be enough. You need to feel confident to decline Aunt Betty politely. Like the Mayo Clinic suggests, you want to eat until you’re satisfied, not until your stomach is ready to burst.

Not Guilty

Let’s face it, you’re not going to be perfect, and at some point, you’ll probably overindulge one way or another. However, if and when you do, don’t beat yourself up. Don’t allow the guilt to make you depressed. It’s not fun, and it can push you into you making poor choices moving forward. Some people eat for comfort when they’re depressed; others tend to hit the bottle harder than usual. Go easy on yourself. It’s the holidays, they’re meant to be fun and festive. You’ll thank yourself for it when it’s all said and done.

A Healthy Holiday Season

With these tips, you’re set up for a healthy holiday season. You’ll keep yourself in shape and in turn, happy. As long as you stick to the plan and don’t beat yourself up when things get off track, you’ll have success. You don’t have to deprive yourself of much and remember to make the right decision when needed.