Surviving The Holidays Without Packing On The Pounds

This is a guest blog post by Hydaway ambassador Gwen Stephens. Follow her on Instagram @gwenstephens08.

It’s safe to say that the holiday season is officially here. Parties, family get togethers, work functions, the list goes on and on. During this busy season it’s easy to lose sight of any fitness goals you may have, whether you’re wanting to maintain or lose weight. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you stay on track this year:


Eat Before You Go

Whether you’re shopping or going to a party, eating something before you go can help you make better choices. When you’re shopping, you’ll be less tempted by the end of aisle specials. At parties and open houses, arriving with a partially-filled stomach will help you detour from the buffet table immediately.

Avoid Denial

Go ahead and enjoy those yummy holiday goodies that only show up this time of year, but with moderation. You can use these tricks to help you not feel deprived:

  • Take a small serving and savor every bite. Think about how it tastes and feels on your tongue. This can help you be satisfied with a small portion.
  • Employ the Taste and Toss; it’s okay to take a treat and just enjoy a bite or two. When you’re done throw the rest away. It’s OK. We’re all about not wasting food, but don’t feel like you have to finish something just for the sake of it!
  • Load up on vegetables and fruits first then go for the more calorie laden items. You’ll eat less of the big ticket items if your stomach isn’t empty when you start.

Don’t Skip the Exercise

There’s no denying that life is busy during the holidays, and often the first thing to fall by the wayside is your exercise routine. Instead of skipping the exercise altogether, think outside the box!

  • Take a walk around the mall before you start your shopping.
  • Go sledding, skating, or build a snowman with the kids.
  • Park far away from the door at the mall.
  • Use the 10 minute rule when you don’t feel like exercising. Commit to 10 minutes; after the 10 minutes are up, if you’re still not feeling the exercise vibe, you can stop. Chances are, you’ll want to keep going!

Every little bit helps, and hey, you might find yourself incorporating some of these practices into your exercise routine post-holidays!

Get Enough Sleep

Studies show that being short on sleep can have an impact on our weight or our ability to maintain and lose weight. Keep to your regular sleep schedule if at all possible. Sure, there will be times when you’re at a party or event late, just don’t make that your norm through the whole holiday season! Try the following to get a better night’s sleep:

  • Turn down the thermostat – you actually sleep better in a cooler environment.
  • Eliminate electronics 1 hour before bed. This helps your mind slow down and get ready for sleep.
  • No caffeine late in the day.
  • Get more bright light during the day.
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.

Drink Enough Water

Yes, water can help you maintain or even lose weight! Your body needs adequate water to function properly. Being even slightly dehydrated can cause headaches, food cravings (especially for sweets!), moodiness, and muscle cramps, just for starters. These simple tips can help you keep from becoming dehydrated:

  • Always keep a water bottle with you! I like to use my Hydaway collapsible water bottle.
  • When at parties alternate, water and other beverages. Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages can actually be dehydrating.
  • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed at night.
  • Start your meals with a glass of water – you’ll be less likely to overeat.

Cut Down On the Stress

We all want the perfect holidays for our families and friends, but this expectation can add undue stress to our lives. Take a realistic look at what you want for the holidays and plan accordingly. Will people really remember how your house was decorated or that you had all of your gifts wrapped in matching paper? Very likely the answer is no. Use these suggestions to cut down on the stress level.

  • Let go of some of the expectations. Relax and enjoy the time with family and friends.
  • Are you hosting a meal or party? Here’s a secret: no one knows what you have planned but you. If things don’t go off the way you planned, you’re the only one who will know! Everyone will still have a great time and love that you took on the responsibility of being the host.
  • Delegate responsibilities and be ok with the results. Everyone will feel included and you won’t have so many things to keep track of and stress over.


These are just a few strategies for keeping on track through the holidays. Ultimately, enjoy the time with family and friends. If you happen to gain a few pounds over the holidays, get back in your routine after the new year. We’re only human; don’t beat yourself up over a couple of pounds!

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