When you have fitness goals, the holiday season can be your biggest enemy.  The colder weather makes it harder to leave your warm, cozy home to hit the gym.  Plus, you have Christmas shopping to do and dinner parties to attend.  But all hope isn’t lost.  With our tips, you can survive the holidays without packing on the pounds.

Workout in the AM

Studies show that people who exercise in the morning are more likely to stick to their fitness regimen.  That’s because there are less obstacles to get in the way.  You won’t have the excuse of being stuck at work late, having errands to run or simply being too tired.  You’re also more likely to make healthier food choices throughout the day.

Have a list of go-to exercises

A lot of people like to travel during the holidays which can make working out a bit tricky.  Fortunately, there are ways to get an effective workout no matter where life takes you.  We recommend creating a list of go-to exercises you can easily do even if you have limited time, space or equipment.  YouTube is filled with workout routines that can fit your needs.  Some channels worth checking out are FitnessBlender, Blogilates and POPSUGAR Fitness.  Do a quick search and add every interesting routine you can find to your favorite’s list.  Choose videos that target different body parts and vary in time.  So whether you have 5 or 30 minutes free, you can still break a sweat.

Plan your meals

The amount of calories you consume plays a huge role in whether you lose or gain weight.  Therefore, the best thing to do is watch what you eat.  We recommend using an app like MyFitnessPal to plan your meals and track your calories.  When you sign up, you’ll provide basic information about your lifestyle and goals.  This information is then used to set a daily and weekly calorie limit to help you reach your ideal weight.  By planning your meals, you’ll get a good idea of how much you need to cut back during the week so you can eat guilt-free at your holiday dinner.  If done correctly, you can still hit your weekly goal without spending too much extra time in the gym.

Choose your drinks wisely

Believe it or not, certain drinks contain just as much if not more calories than your favorite fast food.  For example, a Long Island Iced Tea can have as much as 780 calories.  That’s twice the amount of a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy’s.  If you’re going to have alcohol, stick to wine, light beer or low calorie cocktails.  Some options include rum and diet coke (100 calories), martinis (160 calories) and mimosas (75 calories). Of course, nothing beats drinking plain water though.  It has zero calories and will keep you properly hydrated.

Cut yourself some slack

Nobody is perfect.  At some point, you’re going to skip a workout or eat something that wasn’t in your meal plan.  It’s okay to indulge occasionally but don’t let one little slip up keep you from getting back on track.  If today was rough, you can always try again tomorrow.  Whatever you do just don’t give up.