You’ve been diligent all year. Religiously hitting the gym, watching what you eat, and finding motivation when you thought you had none left. Or perhaps you’ve decided to get a jump on those New Year’s resolutions. But with the holidays upon us, you might be concerned about packing on the dreaded “festive 15” instead of losing them. Here are some ways to help get you through the holiday temptations, along with tips on fighting that stubborn bulge.

Before You Head Out

Spending time with friends and family is one of the perks of the holidays—though all of those enticing meals and baked goods can become problematic. Before you leave for that gathering, grab a quick protein snack and drink a glass of water, both of which will help you feel fuller longer. Apples with peanut butter, yogurt and sliced fruit, or even a protein bar and bottle of water is an excellent choice.

A healthy, filling snack also lessens the temptation to overeat and allows you to enjoy your time at the party or dinner with friends.

Portion Control

Whoever said size doesn’t matter lied. Go for smaller portions, whether you’re at a sit-down meal or enjoying treats from the buffet. And remember to think small when it comes to adult beverages as well. Smaller plates mean less room to pile on those tantalizing treats, while a tall and slender glass holds less of that high-calorie cocktail.

Keep Moving

Move more and eat less, right? The holidays can get busy, and sometimes we can’t find the time to hit the gym. Simple strategies, such as parking farther away (after all, the weather’s fabulous!) or foregoing the elevator for stairs, will help you get in more steps during your day. If you’re feeling adventurous, how about trying something new this winter, such as snowshoeing or ballroom dancing? Focus on maintaining good posture as well; this allows you to strengthen muscles in your core.

Recipe Substitutions

Swapping out a few key ingredients can help stave off unwanted holiday pounds. Consider using applesauce or mashed bananas for oils and butter. Trans fats can increase your waistline up to 30%! White flours and sugars are another pound-packing culprit and can easily be replaced with healthier alternatives. Look at websites such as that offer recipes that are much healthier than traditional options.

Allow Yourself a Treat

Not allowing yourself any delicacies only makes them that much more tempting. It’s okay to yield to a sweet treat. Whether it’s one special bite a day or a full cheat day, you’ll make progress faster when you have something to look forward to.

Just remember, everything in moderation.

Mind Over Matter

Self-talk can go a long way to helping you meet your goals. First, set goals that are attainable. Then remember that weight loss is a process and you need to stay positive about the journey. Low self-esteem contributes to overeating, so keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes. It may help to plan your day’s eating the day before (or even a week ahead). That way, you’ll know what you’re going to eat and you can look forward to meals and snacks without surprises.

Be Mindful of Stress

Stress releases the hormone cortisol. Studies at Yale have shown that when cortisol is released, people tend to choose fattier foods. This also prompts the body to store fat. Try yoga, meditation, or deep breathing to re-center and balance. It’s easy to become overwhelmed or overscheduled during the holidays. Just remember, it’s okay to say no—or to stay home—if you don’t feel you can add another thing to your plate.

Do Unto Others

If you’re the kind of person who attends cookie exchanges and bake sales and loves to share food with others, that’s awesome—but it can be challenging during the holiday season when you’re baking all that yumminess and can’t eat it. And what about others’ diets? Instead of giving out baked goods that you don’t particularly want, why not go for healthy alternatives instead? Homemade granola, nut butters, or fruit leather is a healthy snack, and you’ll still be able to button your pants if you choose to sample your goodies.

When All Else Fails

You’ve followed all the advice yet still can’t lose that last bit of bulge? Why not try CoolSculpting? This fat-freezing procedure is FDA cleared, non-invasive, and targets stubborn fat cells primarily in the abs, love handles, back, thighs, and under the chin. The procedure uses a handheld applicator, which freezes fat cells in those targeted areas. With minimal side effects, and long-lasting results, CoolSculpting is a great non-surgical fat-reduction procedure to help you get through the holiday season without gaining extra fat and inches.

Look at our before-and-after photos to see how we’ve helped others just like you succeed and look fabulous year round.