The thought of losing weight for the holidays sounds like an impossibility, but if you have the right tips and tricks up your sleeve, it can actually be far simpler than you think.

Why Does Losing Weight for the Holidays Seem So Difficult?

The reason it can seem nearly impossible to be able to take on a strategy that will lead to losing weight for the holidays is that the average American will actually gain weight during this time of the year. In fact, most people will gain between 1 and 5 pounds during this season, according to a study conducted in 2000.

With the odds leaning toward weight gain, the idea that someone could actually drop the pounds makes it seem like an effort that would require someone to give up everything they like about this time of the year. Still, it is possible without going to such extremes.

Losing Weight for the Holidays Might Not Be Your Best Goal

That said, while losing weight for the holidays can be done, many people prefer to take an even easier road and simply aim not to gain weight throughout this time so they can go back to fat loss in the New Year. Maintaining and avoiding weight gain provides a little bit of extra wiggle room when it comes to enjoying treats and rich meals even if added care is still required.

Instead of Losing Weight for the Holidays, Prevent Gaining!

Use the following tricks to avoid gaining extra pounds over the holidays and to help you to continue with your weight loss, if that’s your goal:

1 – Snack on lots of fruits and veggies

Before heading to parties and gatherings, fill up on fruits and veggies so you’ll already have dulled the hunger with nutrient dense, high fiber foods. That will reduce your chances of overeating on high calorie refreshments or meals once you arrive.

2 – Step away from the refreshment table

When you stop to talk to family and friends, don’t do so in front of the hors d’oeuvres or the buffet table. Stopping idly to talk to someone is one of the best ways to allow yourself to mindlessly much on whatever is within arm’s reach. Pay attention to what you’re eating and stay away from where foods are readily available except when you’re specifically choosing to eat something.

3 – Eat only what you love

If you’re already watching your calories, then don’t waste a single one of them on anything other than what you truly love to eat. If you really want a piece of pie for dessert, then stop yourself from having a bite of that fruitcake you barely like anyway.

4 – Learn how to graciously decline what you don’t want

This season is filled with people who feel that they know what you want more than you do. There are the people determined to make you eat their cookies and who want to pile more servings on your plate.  When you’re trying to lose weight for the holidays or even when you’re just trying to prevent gaining, this can make it feel like people are deliberately working against you. They’re not.  They’re doing what they’re doing out of an intention of kindness – even if that is not how it is received.

The trick here is to learn how to graciously decline.  Smiling genuinely, you can tell someone offering you a cookie that you’ve already had one (if you have) and that it was delicious. You can say that you’re saving room for something else. You can also simply just say “no, thank you” in a gracious way without explaining yourself.  You can decline another portion at dinner by confirming that it was delicious and that you’ve had enough, you’re satisfied.  If anyone forces more food into your hand or onto our plate, you are in no way obliged to eat it, particularly after you declined it.  Leave it aside.