Katie Ferraro by Katie Ferraro
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The holiday season is upon us, which means lots of parties and countless opportunities to overindulge. Should you skip the office gathering because you know they only serve junk? How many cookie exchanges can you really participate in without feeling the effects?

While the holidays are supposed to be a time of celebration, it can also be a stressful time for those who are trying to maintain their health and fitness. If you’re contemplating skipping all celebrations this year, here are some coping mechanisms for keeping your healthy eating plans in check.

Have Your Own Pre-party

Have Your Own Pre-party

Just like it isn’t wise to cruise the grocery store on an empty stomach, you can’t show up to a holiday party feeling ravenous. Avoid this scenario by having a small meal or snack before you hit the party circuit. You’ll arrive to the party less famished and more prepared to make healthy selections.

Be a Buffet Hover Hater

Have Your Own Pre-party

Certain holiday gatherings can be awkward, and too often we find ourselves making small talk while using food as a distraction. If this sounds familiar, try positioning yourself AWAY from the buffet. Get a drink (nonalcoholic or otherwise) to occupy your hands, and purposely set up shop far away from the food. You’ll find you graze less and may even mingle more.

Give a Healthy Hostess Gift

Have Your Own Pre-party

Don’t let your healthy habits lapse just because it’s holiday time. If you’re going to bring a gift to a party, why not make it a healthy one? You can bring a better-for-you dish to a potluck, which also ensures there’s something there you can eat.

Put Extra Effort into Exercise

Have Your Own Pre-party

Don’t wait until the New Year to get your exercise program on track. If you know you’ll be eating and drinking more calories than usual this time of year, double down on your workouts. You can curb weight gain by putting more emphasis on the energy expenditure side of your energy balance scale.

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