Get Ready for the Holidays

Simple strategies to help you stay in control all season long.
Published November 6, 2016


It'll be here before you know it, stretching your already busy schedule with shopping marathons, parties, holiday prep, and high-pressure family visits. But stay strong! You’ve got this. The first order of business: Set a realistic-for-you goal for the holidays—maintain, lose, or even allow a (small) gain. Decide how to meet your goal; will you allow yourself a few extra SmartPoints® values each day, or perhaps allot more Weekly SmartPoints, or maybe switch to the Simply Filling technique for a day or two, or longer.

Planning is key—but you know what can happen to the best-laid plans when they bump up against reality! Late nights and less downtime can sap your energy, which can dent your motivation, which can make less-than-optimal choices seem more alluring. You get the picture. So it helps to have a plan not only for your goal, but for the things that can trip you up along the way.

For starters, be realistic about how many dinners, happy hours, and cookie swaps you can (and want to) attend. Become best friends with your calendar. Along with noting the parties and holiday events, block off time for activity, sleep, and for yourself.

Then use these tactics to help you cruise through seasonal roadblocks.

Holiday hitch: Parties

* Plan the day of the event itself. Will you be active that morning? What will you eat that day before and/or after the event? Having a small meal before the party can help curb the urge to overindulge once you're there.

* Skip the booze, alternate it with water, or try a little cranberry juice topped off with club soda and a twist of lemon.

* Tempted by trays of high SmartPoints finger foods? Don’t sink into the sofa with a plateful. Get up and mingle. Or hit the dance floor and earn some FitPoints values.

Holiday hitch: Shopping

* Don't shop when you're hungry. Ever. Before you go, eat a small, healthy meal with some protein.

* Wear a pedometer or an activity monitor like Fitbit while you walk the mall to inspire you to stay the course.

* Pack a couple of healthy, nonperishable snacks if it'll be a long day. And remember to take a water bottle.

Holiday hitch: Meal prep

* No time to slave away over a hot stove? Put your slow cooker to work.

* Stick with familiar, basic, healthy—and fast—recipes. Get delicious last-minute meal ideas to see you through rushed evenings.

* Double-batch when you cook staple ingredients—chicken breasts, rice, sweet potatoes—so you can make two meals from one.

Orange you glad....?

This juicy fruit lends a kick to so many dishes.