How do you avoid gaining weight over the holidays?

Tracy's hatching a plan to avoid the traditional holiday gain, despite of a case of chocolate Santas arriving at her house today.

Photo by thepeachmartini via Flickr.

I made a bold decision this year not to do any holiday baking. I love baking, and taking a tray of homemade goodies when we go to parties and get-togethers. My mom also loves that I love baking, so she doesn’t have to. Avery loves to bake with me. Anna’s sort of over it, unless it involves Rice Krispies and marshmallows, or decorating cookies with icing.

But let’s face it: I just eat it all. I start well ahead of the holidays and pack the treats neatly in my freezer. And, like Halloween treats, the amazing (if I do say so myself) cookies and squares call to me. One here, one there, then I go to make a plate up and wonder where it all went. I don’t even share with the kids, so I can’t blame them.

So this year, I’m just saying no. Maybe I will make a couple of items that don’t tempt me — gingerbread or thimble cookies or something — so the kids can partake in this Christmas tradition and we can take some treats to our neighbours. But after seeing the President’s Choice Holiday Insider’s Report, I figure I’ll just pick some of that deliciousness up on my way to parties and everyone will be just as happy.

Of course, after making this big decision, the kids’ daycare announced that their holiday fundraiser is chocolate Santas. Gasp! “We’d appreciate each family taking home one CASE of chocolate Santas to sell to friends and family,” they wrote (caps are, obviously, mine). “How could you do this to me?” I cried to Avery’s teacher. “I’m going to buy them all and wrap them up for all of you for Christmas!” He laughed. I wasn’t kidding.

The old me would just toss my already-fragile willpower aside and say, “It’s the holidays; I’ll get back on track in January,” and crack myself open a chocolate Santa. But the almost-40-year-old me knows that I can’t be that girl anymore (especially since it’s still only November). Instead, I have to make a plan to get through the holidays — and still enjoy them — without completely overindulging. It’s not actual food that causes a problem for me — I don’t ever find myself in a turkey coma — just chocolate in any incarnation. I don’t even like pie.

My plan is still half-baked, but it includes: wearing jeans, instead of yoga pants and their easily-extended waistbands; stopping at one sampling, even if it’s scrumptious; keeping lots of fresh fruit in the house for snacking; weighing myself so I can’t pretend it’s not happening. (Yes, I know exercise should be on here.) I also need to remind myself that I’m never going to leave a party regretting that I didn’t try every treat on the dessert table, but I will regret it if I do.

I know I will consume chocolate, and I’m not going to be completely militant about it, I’d just like to minimize the after-effects of the holidays on my waistline. I don’t want to make #6 on my 14 things to do before I’m 40 list any harder to accomplish.

Do you worry about holiday weight-gain? What strategies do you use to combat it, or do you just give in and face the music later?

Photo by thepeachmartini via Flickr.

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