Continue Running and Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

As you're busy with holiday shopping and parties, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's can be a time when training and healthy eating plans go out the window. But you can continue running and avoid weight gain during the holiday season. Try to stick to some or all of these strategies.

Pick a race.

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Having a race on your calendar is motivation to keep running during December. Whether you choose one that is in a few weeks or a few months, set a plan and stick to it. Check out or Running in the USA for events near you.

More: How to Find Local Races

Don't skip breakfast.

If you're going to a holiday party in the evening, don't make the mistake of skipping breakfast. Although you may think you're saving calories for later, not having a healthy breakfast may lead to overeating later in the day.

More: 5 Smart Eating Rules for Runners

Bring your own healthy dish.

Chances are most of the dishes at holiday gatherings are going to be high in taste -- and calories. Bring your own healthy entrée or appetizer to the party. The host will appreciate it, and you know there'll be at least one safe choice on the buffet table.

Eat small meals.

If you're heading to an evening event, eat regular meals and snacks every few hours up until party time. You won't arrive at the party ready to attack the appetizers. Make sure you include fiber at each meal because it keeps you full longer.

More: Tips for Portion Control

Have a beverage strategy.

When there are lots of high-calorie beverages around at parties, keep a glass or bottle of water handy. If you really want some of that egg nog or mulled wine, treat yourself to one glass and sip it slowly. Savor the taste and then go back to your water.

Treat yourself.

Buy yourself an early holiday gift of some new running gear. A new pair of running tights or a cozy fleece will help motivate you to get out for a run.

More: Running Gift Ideas

Plan your runs.

It's easy to say that you'll keep running regularly during the holiday season, but sticking to it requires a strategy. Schedule your runs like appointments, so you make them a priority during a hectic week. If you have runs scheduled, you're more likely to get them done.

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