Thanksgiving is done, Christmas is near, and here we are right in the midst of festivities before the year ends. The temptations and stress that come with the holidays just seem to be the perfect excuse to put aside our healthy habits and celebrate the great food coming our way.

However, that doesn’t have to be the case. With the right focus, we can counter the challenges brought about by party prep and get-togethers and keep our healthy habits from slipping.

You can avoid working double time on your diet and exercise next year with these tips.

1.     Set your mind on what matters.

Thanksgiving and Christmas should be a time to reflect, celebrate and reconnect with people we love. Although reunions usually involve food, what’s more important is that we strengthen our relationships and make memories through our times together.

Be extra wary of laziness and other weaknesses when it comes to food and exercise, which inevitably leads to the next step.

Stay Focused

2.     Make a plan to “eat defensively.”

Holidays are when you get invited to many gatherings. You can be mentally prepared if you familiarize yourself with the following pointers:

Fight the Binge

3.     Don’t forego your exercise.

Workouts don’t have to stop when the weather outside does not cooperate. Try working out at the community gym or do brisk walking around the mall.

You can also encourage family members to stay healthy during the holidays by taking a walk after eating together or between the main meal and dessert.

Go for a quick jog

4.     Get enough shuteye.

Sleeping only for a few hours the night before can make you crave sweets or fatty foods, then overindulge the following day. Choose which party or outing invitations to accept and make sure to have adequate sleep and prevent your immune system from dipping.

Get your Beauty Sleep

5.     Monitor your habits and don’t give up.

Use a calendar to keep track of how often you exercise and how many calories you consumed over the holidays. There may be a day or two when you’re unable to do what you set out to do. Don’t berate yourself. Instead, check the lessons you’ve learned and set new goals that will help you move forward.

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