So many times I hear patients, families, and friends say, “I will start my diet after the holidays” or “I will eat better in January.”

According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, 80% of people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions.

There is no reason to wait!

If you keep your weight loss and healthy goals in mind NOW rather than later, you will be more apt to follow those goals and stick with them. If you have been exercising and eating healthy all year, don’t waste all that hard work during the last 6-8 weeks of the year!!

The average American gains anywhere from 1-2 pounds to 5-7 lbs over the holiday season – and the kicker, if the weight is lost, it takes an average of 5 months to lose it!

Holiday weight gain is real and it seemingly starts earlier every year. January shouldn’t have to be linked to the idea of weight loss. January should be more exciting than that! Start your so you’re ahead of the game. And when January rolls around, you can just continue to move forward rather than be scared to get on the scale!

We all love the holidays, and who can resist grandma’s pies and auntie’s mac n’ cheese? Remember, portion size is important. Soups, salads, and appetizers before the main meal fill you up with empty calories. And don’t forget that alcoholic drinks – especially eggnog – can be loaded with calories! You definitely want to have fun and enjoy yourself during the holiday season, just please eat and drink responsibly.

Not only do we tend to overeat during the holidays, we also tend to overspend. This is the time when we not only blow our diets, we also blow our budgets. 44% of US shoppers racked up an average holiday debt of more than $1,000 and 5% of US shoppers accumulated more than 5,000 dollars in debt according to Magnify Money. Bouncing back from that debt doesn’t come easily or quickly. One survey showed that only half of those surveyed said they intended to pay back the debt in 3 months and 29% said they needed more than 5 months to pay it off.

Though the holiday time is fun and magical, it comes with a lot of pressure.
Pressure to be perfect; to have the perfect decorations, the perfect dinner, the perfect party, the perfect outfit. All of this perfection costs time and money, and can cause loads of unnecessary stress.

The stress of the holidays can lead to depression and emotional burnout. We all know what stress does to the body. When you’re up all night worrying about that mountain of debt you have accumulated – the next day at work can be tough. A lack of sleep can lead to poor choices. It lowers your resistance and you start to reach for that mid-morning doughnut. It can start a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break out of.

The upcoming holiday season doesn’t have to be an unhealthy one!

Here are 7 tips to stay physically and financially fit during the holidays:

1) Keep your same workout routines. If you miss a workout because of a holiday party, try to fit it in later during the week or earlier in the day.

2) Eat BEFORE you go out. It lessens the chance of overindulgence and helps keep you on track.

3) Eat ONLY the foods you really like. You don’t have to try everything. Stick to what you love to keep your calories and portion control in check.

4) Set a limit on spending. Make a deal with family and friends to set a limit on the amount spent for gift giving.

5) Find alternative ways to celebrate. Spend time making homemade crafts or volunteer your time with a local cause you’re passionate about.

6) Plan ahead before you shop. Stick to your budget and resist last minute shopping, this is where most people tend to overspend.

7) Remember the reason for the season. Don’t get lost and caught up in all of the commercialism and pressure to buy and spend!

What is one thing you’re going to do differently when it comes to your health or financial health this year? Comment below. Your ideas may help someone else!

Happy Holidays!