My friends over at have kindly offered to share some timely hints for maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the Christmas/Hanukkah  season.  Co-Founder of Fit2Touch, Edna Pereira, is a certified trainer and nutritionist, and below are her suggestions for a stress-free December for those of use who really love our festive food.


DID YOU KNOW: The average weight gain most of us experience between the post-Thanksgiving end of November and New Year’s Day is said to be 6 pounds, or approximately one pound per week. But if you think that all of your health and/or weight-loss efforts must surely go to waste during the festive month of December, you may be giving up a little too fast. Whether you want to lose or maintain weight, or just prevent the sudden appearance of that beer or sugar belly, you can stick to your goals and still enjoy your holidays with a treat here and there, regardless of how many company parties, family dinners or other social stresses you have to endure throughout this month.

Here are some useful tips that have helped my clients (and me, too) stick to goals, look fabulous in cocktail attire on New Year’s Eve, and completely enjoy the entire holiday season without feeling deprived, guilty, resentful, or completely out of shape by the time January rolls in:

1. Eat only the extras that you like. If you don’t care for bread with butter, don’t eat it only because it’s there. Save your calories for the chocolate mousse cake that’s coming out for dessert. If you dream of bread and butter, have that instead of the dessert. And remember it was your choice when the dessert comes out.

2. Plan your big parties and gatherings around your eating schedule. If you know that you will attend a big nosh-up in the evening, make yourself a light fruit & vegetable based breakfast. Eat light the day before and the day after, too.


3. Once you get a taste of the sweet and rich stuff, you’ll crave more of it. Dodge those cravings by keeping your fingers busy – paint your nails in the evenings that you are home, or start a puzzle or book so that you won’t snack while watching TV.

4. Plan your workouts. Allocate exercise time during the day then stick to that schedule. A half an hour walk here and there will keep you motivated with a healthy mentality.

5. Remember portion control. You can have what you crave but you don’t need to have lots of it. Just a little taste should quell that urge.

6. Also remember that one month is long: long enough to have all the things you want but also long enough to do damage if you allow yourself to over-indulge. Just pace yourself.

7. Socialize. Chat. Laugh. Whenever your mouth is not full, just keep chatting!

8. Remember that alcohol has a lot of calories and they count, too. For every drink, have a glass of water in between.

9. Weigh yourself every day, at least for the month of December. Although I don’t suggest this for everyone, it helps some people stay on track a little more easily when so many events and parties are packed into such a short period of time.

You can keep on track with weight management – just plan smartly and keep yourself occupied with things other than food. Remember that January is just around the corner and things will go back to normal…and it will all happen faster than you think.

Wishing you all Holiday Happiness and a Healthy New Year,

Edna Pereira,






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