December 18, 2018 3 min read

The holidays are approaching, which means that culinary temptations will soon surround us. Although this time of year is great for enjoying quality time with friends and family, those gatherings usually involve a lot of food and drink -- and not typically the healthy kind. If you've already chosen to focus on your fitness by buying gym equipment and rethinking your diet, you might be worried about having enough willpower to make it through this season. Since the annual costs of being overweight can range from $432 to $524 per year, the stakes are high. It can be difficult to stay focused on your goals, but it's certainly not impossible. Here are some good ways to avoid holiday weight gain and end the year on a healthy note.

Get Moving

With so many social obligations during this time of year, your exercise equipment might start to gather dust. And if you're waiting to make your purchases at a sports store in Walnut Creek until you ring in the new year, you might not be inclined to burn as many calories before 2019 rolls around. But if you don't make exercise a priority, you probably won't feel as merry as you could.

If you already have home fitness equipment, make a pact with yourself to start off your day with a half-hour workout. This can give you more energy throughout the day, allow you to sleep better, and help you be more mindful about what you eat. And if you haven't yet been to your favorite sports store in Walnut Creek to stock your home gym, don't fret. There are plenty of ways to fit in a sneaky workout even when you're busy with holiday festivities.

While you're cleaning the house for your guests, you can put on some music and burn some calories with your own personal dance party. Convince your family to go on a brisk evening walk before dinner, sign up for a charity, or head to a local park with a nature trail. Not only will these activities help you burn off the holiday treats, but they'll also provide some welcome stress relief during this overwhelming time of year.

Track Your Snacks and Compress Your Portions

Mindful eating can allow you to avoid your familiar snacking habits. With so many options out on the table for guests to enjoy, it's easy to fall into a pattern of grazing. If you're bored or anxious, you might not even realize just how much you're actually eating. But if you slow down and make careful choices about every morsel you eat, you'll be a lot less likely to over-indulge.

The same rules apply when it's time to sit down to dinner. Whether your holiday meal is served buffet style or as a plated meal, small portions are the way to go. If you start out with a minimalist approach, you won't feel pressured to eat the large portions that are on your plate. If you're still hungry after eating your smaller helpings, you can always supplement with some more salad, veggies, fruit, or a little bit of leaner protein. Rather than filling up on unhealthy appetizers or desserts, focus on the main parts of the meal and satisfy your appetite with the healthiest options available.

Don't Arrive Hungry

If you've used equipment you purchased at a sports store in Walnut Creek, you're already making healthy choices. But it's a mistake to wait to eat until you arrive at your family get-together or office holiday party. That'll just cause you to eat whatever is most convenient -- and often, those won't be the best options for your diet.

Instead, fill up on healthy foods before you leave the house. If you have a meal you feel good about beforehand, you won't be tempted to eat at the gathering. Alternatively, you can bring some healthy snacks with you (as long as it won't offend the host) or bring a health-conscious dish to pass so that you'll have a safety net waiting for you.

Avoiding holiday weight gain can be tough. But if you're armed with healthy eating habits and equipment from a sports store in Walnut Creek, you'll do just fine.

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