It’s Christmas! And with all the celebratory eating and drinking going around, how should you maintain your fitness and diet plans?

On the one hand, you want to let go and enjoy yourself with family and friends. You don’t always spend time with them and Christmas happens once a year. On the other hand, it’s easy to get scared about putting on weight and missing your regular workouts at the gym, especially if you’ve been working hard to get to where you’re at now.

So for this holiday season, should we eat, drink and… be worried?

No, of course not. There are several things you can do to make sure you don’t lose it entirely, while still enjoying the celebrations. Read on to find out three ways to stay on track this holiday season.

Be Helpful

It’s tempting to lounge on the couch with one hand in the snack bowl while the other cradles a beer. It would, however, really help you clock in your steps for the day if you offer to help.

Are they prepping the meal in the kitchen? Help chop, dice, slice… whatever it is they need, do it. Dirty dishes overflowing in the sink? Offer to wash and dry them.
Between running to the store for last-minute groceries and helping people get more drinks, everyone will appreciate your attention while you keep your body active.

Just remember to strap on your fitness tracker so you can check your step count, heart rate and activity’s intensity for more feedback. And if you still feel you haven’t done enough…

Take a Minute’s Break

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Set your timer for 60 seconds and go all-out with burpees. After an hour, do another 60 seconds of jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups or wall-sits. Your friends and family might stare at you, but research has shown that sudden high-intensity activity can actually do a lot of good for your body.

Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology and author of the One-Minute Workout, says that 60 seconds, three times a week, is enough to improve your cardio fitness in 12 weeks. Granted, his workouts are supposed to be three 20-second exercises with two minutes of rest time between sets, but… it’s Christmas!

Crank up the effort and track your intensity levels with your Spur+ or fitness wearable to get further insight into your VO2 Max during your minute workout. You might not have managed to get to the gym, but you’re still improving your fitness!

Start with the Veggies

The time has finally come, and the food is ready. You feel all sense of control fly out the window. You grab a spoon and immediately reach out for…

The vegetables.

While it’s tempting to go for the meats, cheese and anything carbohydrate, satisfy your hunger with some good vegetables first. Research has shown that when you eat vegetables for five minutes before starting on carbs and protein, your insulin levels spike less after the meal. You have a better chance of controlling your eating and making good food choices if you simply start with the veggies.

And when you finally back away from the table feeling like a dumpling, remember that the holiday season happens once a year. It’s a time to focus on being with those you love. There’s no need to feel guilty or attempt to “work off” the calories. Because staying fit and healthy is a lifestyle. Once the holiday season is over, you’ll return to your usual schedule of fitness and healthy meals, and you’ll continue making progress as you did before.