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10 Battle Plans for Surviving the High-Calorie Holidays

Guilty of abandoning good diet choices to festivities and the memories we make with good friends and lots of food? Survive the high-calorie holidays by having a plan.

By definition, a survivor is a person who remains alive after an event like a battle or a disease in which others perished. A survivor can also be defined as a person who copes well with the difficulties in their life. Holiday meals and parties sometimes can present just such a struggle, sometimes appropriately called the Battle of the Bulge. Many people gain weight around the holidays: you know Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. They become casualties of a caloric war; some surrendering before the battle even begins. To come off victor in this fight requires a plan, a strategy. Here are some rules of engagement to fortify you for the holidays, and arrive at the New Year with no regrets, but also without feeling like you cheated yourself out of participating in the food rituals that surround these festivities. {94dkuxn7}


Increase your exercise program during the holidays. Plan for a good workout before parties and meals because physical exertion blunts the appetite. This may seem counter-intuitive but is true all the same. This way, any weight you gain can be legitimately called muscle.


Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, so stay hydrated. The 6–8 glasses of water recommended each day have zero calories and can help to suppress your appetite, plus keep your skin and body healthier and functioning properly.


Eat before you go to the party. Load up on healthy, fiber-rich, real foods, so you’re not hungry when you arrive at an event filled with unhealthy options.


Portion control, portion control. Don’t think that you have to clean your plate (unless you’re helping the host wash up after the party); Be careful with small portions when you serve yourself, and if someone else is serving you, feel free to leave some on the plate.

Health First

Eat the healthiest things on the table first. Avoid breads and anything fried, creamed, gravied, or processed. Save the sweets for last. And be honest with yourself, carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie do not qualify as vegetables, though they are much healthier options than other holiday foods.

Slow Down

Eat slowly. Don’t hang around the food or dessert tables. Forbid yourself from having any seconds.

Don’t Drink Your Calories

Avoid alcohol and sugary soda beverages. Substitute cold water flavored with real lemon or lime.

Be Prepared

Always carry an emergency pack of nuts, seeds, and protein bars in case the food at the event is just too hostile to your strategy.

Track Food

Keep a journal of what you eat. Admittedly, this is a pain, but extremely revealing, maybe even shocking. This kind of knowledge can be motivational. If you find that on a given day you lost it and went overboard, you can repent and do better the next day. By keeping track, one day in a row does not have to become two.

Track You

If you really want to micro-manage your plan, weigh yourself at the same time each day so you can see what’s working and what’s sabotaging your goals. Small daily disappointments are easier to manage than huge shocks later on.

Make some of these suggestions part of your holiday strategy, and you‘ll be a survivor. In the end, instead of being overly concerned about what we eat between Christmas and New Year’s, we should be more concerned with what we eat between New Years and Christmas.

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