10 Ways to Avoid Packing on the Pounds This Holiday Season

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We know how easy it is to get off track over the holidays, so here are ten easy tips to help keep you focused, fit and healthy from Thanksgiving through the New Year!

1. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN
Plan your workouts in advance so that you don't skip them. If you know you have to shop after work and can't hit the gym, wake up early and go in the morning. Plan to meet a friend or sign up for classes so that you feel more committed to attend. While at the gym, maximize your time with workouts that burn lots of calories like kickboxing or circuit training.

2. INDULGE!
But remember, the holidays are really just a few days...not two months! One day is not going to kill you so enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve wisely. Just be sure to avoid chocolates, eggnog and champagne at the office and holiday parties.

3. AVOID FILLERS
Avoid the chips and dips, candies and appetizers that people put out before the meal begins. That way you can save up those calories and indulge in the stuff that really makes you happy—like pernil, coquito and flan!

4. DON'T SKIP MEALS
Never, ever go to a party hungry! You are setting yourself up for disaster and will end up binging like crazy.

5. LAY OFF THE BOOZE
Alcohol is the biggest waste of caloric intake! Not to mention all the greasy food you're probably eating the next day to fight the hang over. Drink one glass of water for every glass of alcohol, that should slow you down and minimize the toxins that make you feel crappy the next day.

6. USE SMALL PLATES
Grab a salad plate and fill it up. The smaller the plate, the larger your portion will seem. You may find yourself feeling fuller from much less food, and at the very least, if you go back for seconds you'll know that your eating because you're hungry and not just cause the food is sitting there on a plate in front of you.

7. STRATEGIZE HOW TO HANDLE FRIENDS & FAMILY
They don't mean to sabotage your goals and probably think you are wonderful just the way you are. But when it comes to food Latino families can be pushy and even downright rude! Your perseverance and discipline may just remind them of their lack of it. If talking to them about your healthier choices is not an option, then just lie! Fibs that work every time? "My doctor told me not to eat such and such." "I'm allergic." and "I'm full right now but I'd like to take some home."

8. PICK ON FRUITS & VEGGIES
If you're at a cocktail party and there are hours of buffet grazing before you, be sure to reach for the fruits and veggies first. These are a much healthier way fill up. Just remember to go easy on the dips and dressings.

9. USE MENTAL CUES
Stay focused and motivated by using mental cues and positive affirmations. Fill your mind with images of what you are trying to accomplish. Stay on track by really thinking about what you are eating before you stick it in your mouth.

10. ENJOY LIFE!
If you do gain a pound or two, know that its not the end of the world! Just don't let it snow ball. Get back to your fitness plan as soon as possible and maybe even ask for some personal training sessions, karate or dance classes as a holiday gift.

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About this author

Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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