While most of us love the holiday season, we’re all too aware of the effects it can have on us.

There’s a reason “weight loss” is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions..

It Adds Up

Sign Up for E-News

The average American gains 2.5lbs of fat between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Add that up for the past 10 years and that’s 25lbs of pure body fat added because of the one month holiday season Thanksgiving

I think of that fact every time someone says “My goal is to weigh as much as I did when I got married or before I had kids or when I graduated high school”.

This next month can have a major effect on your long term health – whether its positive or negative is up to you.

I want to share with you four strategies that will help you navigate this time of year much easier and get through New Year’s without having to add an extra hole to your belt.

Enjoy the big meals

I think everyone should enjoy the holidays with family and eat good food, but let’s keep it to the HOLIDAY.

There are 40 Days between now and New Years. That’s 123 Meals.

That 2.5 lbs of Fat isn’t caused by three or four big family dinners, it’s everything in between.

So live it up on Thursday, eat whatever you want, FOR THAT ONE MEAL, but keep the meals before and after it as clean as possible.

Add heavy, intense workouts before meals

If you want to get the most out of your big meals, do heavy weight lifting and high intensity cardio before. Your body will be able to handle the high insulin loads much better and the meals might actually help you build muscle!

If you’ve ever wondered why professional athletes can eat so much and still be so lean, well, I’m going to let you in on their secret, THEY WORK OUT REALLY HARD.

The higher the intensity of the training, the more need for nutrients your body will have. So try hitting the weights or doing some sprints before you put on a show at the dinner table.

Digestion Is Key

We all know about that Holiday bloat and feeling “stuffed” all the time. Keep your digestion healthy through the holidays and you’ll feel much better. The first step is proper hydration. Drinking as much water as you can will help keep things “moving” along.

It might also help you not eat as much in between the big meals. Adding in a lot more fiber will also be a huge bonus here.

We all know the types of foods that are being consumed in the next few weeks can do 2 things to our digestion: Bring it to a screaming halt OR have us running to the bathroom every 30 minutes – neither one is very fun. Keep your digestion on point and you will be feeling much better.

Eat Before You Eat

This is a simple trick to use before all those Holiday Parties which you know are going to be loaded with terrible food.

Simply have a healthy meal right before you walk out the door. Going to a party hungry is a recipe for disaster. You’re going to be tempted to eat whatever is put in front of you, which in most cases are some pretty terrible options.

That extra healthy meal will help boost your willpower and make it easier to make better decisions.

Have an ally

The hardest part about the holidays is the fact that the same people pushing us to eat and drink so much are our closest friends and family.

Add to that unhealthy traditions and guilt, and you have a recipe for disaster.

But, if you have someone outside your friends and family to support and guide you, it can make it infinitely easier to do.

Editor's Note: Gabriele Fitness and Performance is an advertiser with TAP into. To learn more about becoming an advertiser, please call (908)279-0303 or email marketing@tapinto.net.