Winter has a way of making us eat more, and not just more, but more high-calorie foods.  Creamy soups, bread, fancy warm coffee drinks, etc. appeal to our senses with the cold air all around.  If you want to prevent extra weight gain over the holidays, you have to put in a little discipline.  Not to say you can’t enjoy treats when at home or here and there on the road, but keep the treats in check!  Here are 5 tips to help you be a lean mean Christmas machine this year:

1. Build

Build up breakfast!  So many people skip breakfast only to end up starving later in the day.  Breakfast is the place to eat protein, high fiber carbs, and some healthy fat to set the base of your day for eating.  Two eggs scrambled with veggies and avocado paired with 2 slices whole wheat toast and berries at a restaurant or oatmeal with peanut butter and banana en route are great options!

2. Simmer

Simmer down dinner!  Dinner is a place to lower your calories because you are being still.  On the reverse, most people eat more at dinner.  Aim to keep dinner to lean protein, roasted veggies and some healthy fat.  Salmon with roasted veggies drizzled with basil pesto is a good place to start.   Swap lettuce wraps for tortillas or spiralized zucchini for pasta.  And if you are eating at a restaurant, try a salad with protein or even a salad and broth-based soup combo.

3. Drink

Not alcohol!  Staying hydrated is key in the winter for a few reasons.  First, staying hydrated will help your winter skin from getting dry.  Second, dehydration can make you feel fatigued.  Finally, filling up on water can help you feel full faster for zero calories.  If you hate water, add some fresh fruit or a splash of flavor! 

4. Cut

Cut out added sugar and added fat where you can.  Stay away from packaged foods that can sit on a shelf for weeks or months!  That usually means it is loaded with additives and likely sugar.  Eating more whole foods will help you feel better for less.  Hitting a grocery store, instead of a truck stop, on the road gives you the option to buy some fresh, less processed food to snack on over the trip.

5. Move

Walk, run, bike…whatever you want!  Don’t let the cold temps keep you from exercising.  Bundle up and go!  Or head to the gym, get a workout video or bust out your exercises from third grade as some squat thrusts, high knee running and jumping jacks paired with some push-ups, tricep dips and crunches can do ya some good!  Wherever you can fit exercise in, do it!

Focusing on small things consistently will help you stay on track over the holidays.  It’s not the big things that get most of us, it’s the small, consistent things.  So, get a plan and get truckin’ along.  Happy holidays!

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