Holiday How-To: Regulating That Waistline

So you like food, and you especially don’t want to miss out on the food that’s made around the holidays, right? Same here. There are probably dozens of complicated things you could do in order to keep those extra holiday pounds off before starting that New Year’s resolution—but that’s still weeks away.

Here’s a simple list—of things that don’t require a gym membership—that may not necessarily help you lose weight (more power to you if it does!), but you’ll find that you won’t be adding the calories from mom’s cutout Christmas cookies around your waistline either.


1) The Sustainable Bottle. If you’re going to abide by anything on this list, carrying around a reusable water bottle is a must-do around the holiday season. Running around your local mall looking for presents and you suddenly get thirsty? Skip out on the food courts soda and grab that water bottle from your purse instead.

Not only will this save you a lot of extra cash in the long run, but it will also spare you from those liquid calories. Drinking a tall glass of water before a meal will also keep your food intake in check. L.L. Bean and Eastern Mountain Sports each have re-usables in a variety of shapes and sizes. Did I mention these make great gifts?

2) The Walk-About. I love driving around and seeing the neighbor’s Christmas lights this time of year; what I love even more is walking around the neighborhood and looking at Christmas lights. This venture is free—so why not do it? Grab your kids, grab your significant other, grab your whole extended family (don’t forget that water bottle) and start a Christmas tradition.

Although it has been proven time and time again that running burns more calories than walking, we don’t always have that hour and a half time it takes to get changed into our spandex, run, stretch, shower, get ready, etc. So instead zip up the winter coat, throw on a hat and some gloves and head out the door for a good thirty-minute brisk walk.

3) The “I call halfsies!” When it comes to diets, there’s a lot of controversy over what you can and cannot eat—depending on what your body’s needs are. Again, if your plan to shed the pounds starts on New Years day, why cut out the delicious food altogether when you can simply have less of it?

It’s better to have half of that piece of pie than a whole piece, and you won’t turn into the Grinch because you’re the only one not eating dessert. If you aren’t sure you can trust yourself to limit your food intake by half, let someone you deem more trustworthy than yourself in on your mission and have them make a plate for you.

4) The Pre-Game. If you know you’re going to a holiday party that’s going to have more than enough food to feed a herd of elephants, take steps to prepare for the party before you even walk through the door. First, if you’re expected to bring an appetizer or dessert, there are always ways to substitute an unhealthy ingredient for a healthy ingredient (such as Greek yogurt instead of sour cream), no one but you will know the difference. Next, if you know you’ll be munching away during the party, eat a lighter and more healthy breakfast and lunch so you won’t feel too guilty eating that greasy appetizer later.

5) The Happy Hour. It’s a tough battle trying to keep an eye on those liquid alcoholic calories during the holiday season. You want a little something to get you through that company Christmas party or having the in-laws living in your basement for a long weekend. Not to mention, we all want to feel jolly and merry and lift our spirits with, well, some good spirits!

Here’s how to tackle this one: for the beer drinkers, stay away from those heavy stouts and porters. Splurge on a beer with a higher alcohol content, that way one of those beers will have the same effect as three or four low-quality beers each with the same amount of calories as that one beer with the higher ABV. Also, stay far away from the sugary cocktails, which can easily be swapped for a sweet red or white wine.


Of course if you’re already on a steady diet and/or exercise track, keep on doing what you’re doing and maybe get a friend or family member involved. This is for those of us who may already have that weight loss resolution in mind but don’t want to go cold turkey on the diet on January 1st, but instead would rather ease into it.

Audrey Strasenburgh

Audrey Strasenburgh

Associate Editor at The Chiefly
Born and raised in Rochester, NY, a graduate of St. Lawrence University with a passion for the sport of rowing. A current rowing coach, avid hiker and skier with the lifetime goal of sampling every beer ever made.
Audrey Strasenburgh
Audrey Strasenburgh
Audrey Strasenburgh
Audrey Strasenburgh

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