Fitness + Well-being

'Tis the Season! Skip These Holiday Dieting Mistakes


December is a month rife with temptations. Holding steady through the holidays and maintaining your weight is certainly admirable — especially when factoring in that you have less time to exercise and more events to attend. Play it smart, and avoid these common mistakes fit folks tend to make around Christmas and New Year's.

#1. Skipping Breakfast

When rushed for time and trying to cut calories, dieters often skip breakfast. Bad idea. Dieters who eat breakfast are more successful at taking weight off and keeping it off. Eating healthy foods and staying satisfied throughout the day will make holiday treats a little easier to pass up.

#2. Overestimating Calories Burned

Exercise is a great complement to dieting. However, it is easy to overestimate the calories you have burned. Running for 30 minutes might burn 300 calories, but there are over 300 calories in one cup of eggnog. Do continue exercising, since it will help you keep on track, but don't assume you can eat everything in sight when you're at a holiday cocktail party. It's all about balance.

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#3. Underestimating Calories Consumed

I'm not going to lie to you; going to a party and watching what you eat takes discipline, especially when there's a buffet. Make one pass of the table, and be choosy. If something doesn't taste worth the calories, then there is no need to finish it. When attending a long party, pace yourself.

#4. Cutting Carbs

Many folks still think cutting carbs is a quick weight-loss trick. The dark, cold days of winter are no time to cut the bread and pasta out of your life; carbs help in the production of serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical. Search out complex carbs and whole grains to keep your spirits high and your diet balanced.

#5. Booze Gracefully

You may abstain from too many foodie goods at a holiday gathering, but (unfortunately) booze counts. If you're trying to stay fit over the holidays, then limiting your alcohol consumption is necessary. Liquid party diets are bad news, but you won't have to deal with that awful hangover — and that's certainly good news!

#6. Deprive Yourself Completely

The holidays are full of fattening treats, from egg nog to butter-filled cookies. Denying yourself these treats often backfires, and you end up going overboard and eating a whole bunch of fattening foods. Pick your treats, but set limits so you can enjoy yourself as well as the holiday goodies.