Eat. Drink. Be Merry. It’s that time of year – office parties, intimate friendly get-togethers, family holiday celebrations – finding something to wear is half the battle. How to enjoy the holidays without overdoing it on food and drink is the other half. Celebrity or not taking too much time off from eating right and exercising can have you gaining up to 5 pounds over 3 months.

Here are some nutrition, hydration and fitness strategies to help you look and feel like a star throughout the holidays so you can hold true to your resolutions in the New Year for a new you:

Eat:

Have something to eat/drink at home before going to the party can help you avoid calorie overload. When our sugar levels drop we want starchy carbs but instead choose foods that fill you up and make you feel satisfied but not stuffed. Combining protein and fiber will do the trick, try some hummus and celery sticks, or an apple and some low fat cheese.

Some people think starving yourself all day long before a big party is the answer. This is not only unhealthy, it’s counterproductive! Once again your sugar levels will go down and cravings will go up, instead continue to eat 3 small meals, 2 snacks and drink a minimum 1 liter of water daily throughout the holidays to keep your metabolism cranking and your energy levels high.

Endless tables filled with gourmet selections from almost every cuisine can weaken those with the most will power! At the party, you can enjoy a wide array of foods, not just the vegetables, as long as you do it in a responsible way by practicing portion control.

When you reach for a plate, take a salad size dish rather than a dinner plate and skip the bread. As you walk down the line, take smaller servings of various selections and choose foods without the sauce or salads without creamy dressings. When you’ve reached the end of the table, walk away! By standing next to the table as you socialize, you may be tempted to continue to “pick” and sample without realizing it. If you do want second helpings, just remember it takes 20 minutes before foods hits our stomachs and signals we are full take a moment, chat with friends and then see if the feeling passes.

Finally, who can resist desert? Great news…you don’t have to! Grab a friend and choose one dessert between the two of you, that saves you half the calories!

Drink:

The holidays are a perfect time to ring in some cheer but did you know that a couple of cocktails can cost you more than 300 calories? Whether you are hosting a holiday party or just a guest, there are ways to enjoy great-tasting beverages without the calories. The key to everything in my program is moderation and that comes to alcohol as well. As we all know alcohol and dieting don’t mix well, our bodies process alcohol first, leaving the carbs and fats to get stored as fat instead of getting used as fuel, however sometimes during the holidays we want to have fun. Stars don’t abandon willpower completely, many know that choosing certain designer drinks such as a Shochu Cosmo at 70 calories over a Pina Colada at 230 plus calories still allows them to enjoy the festivities and pay for it less later. Do some research and stick to a plan.

Be Merry:

As you’re decking the halls, shopping and party hopping, get in the fitness spirit with a holiday-themed playlist. Exercise has a positive effect on our mood and is a great stress reliever. Park farther away from the stores and walk at a brisk pace to get there. You can burn twice as many calories walking twice as fast. Here’s a great way to keep motivated during the holiday, bring along a pedometer and track your steps. Carry bags or walk with a back pack and put gifts inside, the added weight will increase resistance and you can train your legs and glutes at the same time.

Speaking of gifts, give the gift of health to those you love, wether it’s the latest activity monitor, light weight running shoe or even my Ramona321 app with beginer, intermediate and advanced video program content to get you your Hollywood Body ( http://ramonabraganza.com/mobile-app/)
As you prepare for parties and get-togethers remember my advice – Practice portion control, eat and drink in moderation and incorporate fitness into your daily schedule and you will remain on a healthy eating and lifestyle track that will follow you through to the New Year.

Enjoy!