Tara Gidus

5 Nutrition & Fitness Tips for the Holidays

The holidays are a time for celebrating with family, friends, and lots of food. Temptation is around every corner, but you don't have to let it get you off track. We've got five tips to help keep your health at the forefront of your mind this holiday season.

1. Allow yourself to enjoy your seasonal favorites. Whether you love sweet potato casserole or have a special place in your heart for peppermint bark, the tastes of the season are something you've been looking forward to all year. Give yourself permission to enjoy your favorites by starting small. This means a small portion on a small plate. If you're still hungry after you've finished your first plate, you can always go back for more.

2. Savor the flavor for a few days. Even better than going back for seconds is bringing your favorites home with you. Grab an empty to-go container before you leave the house and put a serving (or two…) of your favorites away for another day. Chances are your holiday festivities will feature plenty of leftovers, and your hosts will be pawning some off on you anyway. Be smart by only taking a small portion though – you don't need to indulge in pecan pie for the next five days.

3. Schedule your training sessions. Between the parties, the shopping, and the company, your calendar is filling up fast. Don't forget to schedule time for your workouts as well. A calendar will keep your training on track and keep you accountable to your health and fitness goals.

4. Go to bed prepared for tomorrow's workout. Now that it's scheduled, don't give yourself another excuse to skip that training session. If you're planning on an early morning run, lay your clothes out before going to bed; if you've got an after work gym session, pack your gym bag the night before. Prepare for your workout and prepare to achieve your goals.

5. Don't skip meals! If you've got your mind set on conserving today's calories for the spread at that next party, think again. Skipping meals and then splurging can actually cause you to gain fat. Instead of showing up ravenous and regretting that overindulgence later, be sure to maintain your normal eating routine. Have breakfast within an hour of waking up, eat at least every four hours, and if you're worried about temptation, have something light before arriving at the party.

Staying on track during the holidays is possible. Keep these five tips on hand and you'll be well on your way achieving your nutrition and fitness goals.

Known as the "Diet Diva," Tara Gidus Collingwood is a nationally acclaimed nutrition expert and the official nutritionist of runDisney.