The holidays are fast approaching (scary!) and with American Thanksgiving this weekend we all know that sooner rather than later our kitchens will be filled with Christmas baking, our glasses filled with Christmas cheer and our schedules filled with Christmas festivities.  As much fun as the holiday season is, trying to fit back into your clothes come January is not, so do yourself a favour this holiday season and do not do what most North Americans do: over-indulge and see the scale increase by nearly 10 pounds.

Here are my favourite ways to ensure you do not have to go out and buy a new wardrobe post holidays.

1 – Stick to your normal schedule.  Do not skip workouts because you have a holiday lunch or you are recovering from a party with friends.  If you normally work out at lunch hour or after work and know you have a function one day, get up early and get your workout in before work.  If you are feeling rough after a few too many glasses of eggnog, make yourself get out for a workout no matter how awful you feel.  Like I’ve said before, one thing I NEVER say is “Wow, do I ever regret that workout”.

2 – Do not cut out calories in the day in an attempt to bank them for a later function.  If you have an event in the evening where you know you may indulge more than you normally would, instead of staying away from calories throughout the day, fill your day with clean and healthy foods, such as lean proteins, fruits and vegetables.  If you show up at a party starving you are more likely to over-indulge and actually end up consuming more calories in the day than you would have if you had eaten before arriving.  I always eat a healthy salad before a party which fills me up, preventing me from eating too many high calorie treats.

3 – Stay away from the food table! Make yourself one plate of appetisers and then step away.  Each appetiser you put in your mouth most likely consists of 100-200 calories and 3-5 grams of fat so 10 of those and you have consumed a minimum of 1000 calories, not including alcohol.

4 – Keep a glass of water nearby and make sure you drink it.  Most of the foods you will be consuming will be loaded with sodium and combined with alcohol you will wake up extremely dehydrated and very bloated.  For every cocktail you consume have one glass of water and if you have an option stick with wine or distilled alcohol, such as vodka or gin.  Adding fruit juices, sodas and eggnog can increase the calories in a drink drastically so keep your drinks as clean as possible.

5 – Most importantly, if you overdo it one night or one weekend get yourself back on track immediately.  One of my favourite philosophies is make the right choices at the right time so if you know you have an event coming up, do not have a muffin with your coffee and stay away from those iced sugar cookies you made with your kids on the weekend.

Attached - Julie Bowen out running with her son earlier this week.