Cupid's Pulse Article: Fitness Tips: 6 Ways to Avoid Putting on Extra Holiday PoundsCupid's Pulse Article: Fitness Tips: 6 Ways to Avoid Putting on Extra Holiday Pounds

By Karley Kemble

The holidays are a wonderful time of year filled with lots of reasons to celebrate. With so many parties and gatherings, it’s easy to break away from healthy habits, and even easier to add numbers to your scale. While holiday weight gain is usually inevitable, you can put up a good fight. How cool would it be to say you actually lost weight after the New Year hits?

If you’re worried about gaining weight during the holidays, check out these fitness tips that’ll help prevent the scale from climbing. After all, Cupid doesn’t believe in keeping fitness secrets.

1. Workout in the mornings: In most cases, parties are held in the afternoons or evenings, so if you’re heading to an evening shindig fit in some exercise in the morning. Starting your day off with fitness really sets the whole tone for your day and will make you more conscious of the foods you put in your mouth. You also are less likely to feel guilty about treating yourself to grandma’s homemade gingerbread cookies!

2. Walk after dinner: It doesn’t seem likely that you’ll leave early from a holiday party and head straight to the gym. There is some good news – you can still get those Fitbit steps in. Start a new family tradition and go on a good walk around the neighborhood. While it may not be the most intense cardio workout, it still counts for something. Plus, you can bond over all the houses decorated for the holidays!

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3. Take advantage of commercial breaks: If you find yourself glued to the T.V. for all the holiday specials and every new Hallmark Christmas movie, the couch potato life can really take a toll on your weight. Utilize the 15+ minutes of repetitive ads, and turn your living room into a mini home gym. You can do a ton of exercises – crunches, pushups, jumping jacks – the list is really endless! Find what works for you and go for it. By the end of the movie or show, you’ll have a decent workout in.

4. Snack beforehand: Never go to a party hungry! When the “hanger” kicks in, it’s almost impossible to control yourself. Make sure you eat a little something beforehand, so you don’t become ravenous. You’ll be more mindful of what’s going into your mouth and will significantly reduce the chances of a regrettable binge eating episode.

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5. Bring a healthy dish: While there is a bit of uncertainty with the menu at a party you’re invited to, your host/hostess will definitely appreciate some extra help. No matter what you’re asked to bring, there is always opportunity to put a healthy spin on a dish. That way, you know at least one thing is a good choice. Don’t be worried about people skipping over your dish because of your modified recipe, most people can’t even taste a difference.

6. Plan, plan, plan: What’s great about the holidays is that you can prepare your action plan beforehand. The big holidays fall around the same time every year, so you know what to expect. Eat healthily in the days leading up to a holiday party, and fit in workouts around your busy schedule. Establish as much consistency as you can – breaking the routine is what causes you to stray and will cause weight gain.

How do you manage your weight during the holidays? Share in the comments below!