It’s the most wonderful time of the year! With festive parties, seasonal lattes, and holiday feasts among us, it’s easy to get caught up in the indulgences of the holiday season. Too many indulgences can lead to unwanted pounds, and if you’re already worried about fitting into your jeans come January, there are a handful of ways to avoid winter weight gain. You don’t have to sacrifice all that is good around the holidays (I would never hold you to that!) but putting a fitness plan in place and substituting water or tea for that gingerbread latte once in a while will help keep the extra weight off this season.

From setting a realistic fitness goal to watching your alcohol intake, here are 8 tips to avoid winter weight gain.

1. Consume a healthy diet

If you’re going to be treating yourself at parties and social gatherings, make sure you’re sticking to a super healthy diet at home. Stay away from takeout and fill your body with fruits, vegetables and fiber-rich foods that will make you feel full without excessive eating.

2. Skip the seasonal drinks

I know, I know, gingerbread lattes are too good to resist! But it doesn’t mean you should get one every time you make a trip to the coffee shop. Sweet seasonal drinks of that nature are packed with sugar, which means they’re high in calories. Treat yourself once in a while, say every two or three weeks, and substitute the high-calorie drinks with a regular coffee or tea. There are so many festive holiday tea flavours these days, so you can still get your fix.

3. Fitness goals

Set realistic fitness goals over the winter and try your best to stick to them. If your post-work schedule is jam packed, try to get a workout in on your lunch break; or get your friends together to go to group classes so you’re more motivated to hit the gym. Not only will exercising ward off the pounds, it will boost your mood, circulating feel-good endorphins.

4. Know your guilty pleasures

It’s okay to indulge over the holidays! But if you know your schedule is packed with events that will offer rich and fatty foods, pick and choose when you’re going to indulge. A handy tip? Don’t go to a party hungry. Fill yourself with fruits, veggies and soup before you head off so that you don’t stuff your face while you’re there.

5. Drink water

Drinking your 8 glasses of water each day will not only keep your system flushed, but also keeps you full and helps to prevent you from drinking other, unhealthy drinks. Try these creative tips to drink more water throughout the day!

6. Don’t binge at home

You’ll likely spend a good amount of time curled up in your cozy abode over the winter. When it’s blustery and cold outside, your home is the place to be. But, if you find yourself getting bored, make sure you don’t binge eat. It can be easy to just plop on the couch with a bag of cookies, so keep junk food out of your house, and replace it with healthy, low calorie snacks.

7. Curb sickness

The flu, colds and stress-caused illness can do a number on your immune system around the holidays. Being sick can trigger comfort food cravings and will give you an excuse to skip the gym. Make sure to constantly wash your hands, get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, eat healthy and drink lots of water throughout the day. All of these things will assist in fighting off winter illness.

8. Watch your alcohol intake

This one is definitely tough over the holidays with all the parties and get togethers; but try to limit your alcohol intake. Drinking more alcohol will make you retain more water, leading to extra weight gain. Not to mention, alcohol is loaded with calories, so mix in water before and after your alcoholic drinks as you party the night away.

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With festive parties, seasonal lattes, and holiday feasts among us, it’s easy to get caught up in the indulgences of the holiday season. But too many indulgences can lead to unwanted pounds, which doesn't bode well when it comes to fitting into your capris once spring hits. The good news is that, with this list of tips to avoid winter weight gain, your weight loss goals don't need to go out the window once the cold weather hits!

And if you’re looking for more health inspiration, please follow our Health and Fitness board where we share all kinds of fabulous ideas!

Kate is a freelance lifestyle writer based in Toronto, Canada. She’s always had a passion for the written word, and after interning at publications such as FASHION Magazine and The Kit, she knew she had to take her passion to the next level. When she’s not sharing her love for styling outfits, home cooked meals, fitness endeavours and home décor, she’s probably taking a hot yoga class or watching the latest series on Netflix.

This is an excerpt from the article How to Avoid Winter Weight Gain: 8 Tips That Work! which originally appeared on