Eight strategies to eat smart during the holidays

   To many it' the most wonderful time of the year, and with celebrations, out-of-town family visiting and yummy goodies everywhere, the holidays can feel like one long party. What may usually be an occasional treat can quickly lead to overeating. We asked the REM-Fit community for their tips to sticking to a healthy diet during the holidays. Here are eight strategies to help you (and your waistline) survive this busy time of year.
  1. Get plenty of sleep
When celebrating is in order, sleep is often the first thing to go by the wayside. It' a key part, however, of maintaining a healthy diet. According to the National Sleep Foundation, one study of almost 70,000 women found that those who slept five hours a night were 32 percent more likely to gain 33 pounds or more than women who slept at least seven hours a night. If you're looking to add something in the bedroom to help you achieve seven hours of sleep or more, consider the REM-Fit REST Collection adjustable pillows. Available in three variations, the pillows provide comfort and customized support for all types of sleepers.
  1. Drink lots of water
During this time of year, many people splurge on sugary, alcoholic drinks at parties. Drinking more water will help you stay hydrated, be more energized, curb calories and improve skin complexion.
  1. Fruits and veggies first
The holiday party buffet is always filled with the best kinds of goodies , creamy dips, carb-heavy snacks and desserts. By filling up your plate with fruits and veggies first (before going back for seconds, of course), you will be tricking yourself into feeling fuller faster, so you'll be less likely to fill your plate up with as many calorie-heavy items.
  1. Eat smaller portions more frequently throughout the day
When you eat smaller portions at frequent intervals throughout the day, you are less likely to chow down on too many treats during the holiday party. If it' during lunch, eat a healthy breakfast and a high-fiber snack. One Facebook fan, Patsy S., said a combination of apples and water are how she avoids the holiday weight gain. If it' an evening celebration, make sure to eat a hearty lunch with plenty of protein and fiber and a mid-afternoon snack. By filling up on healthy food before the party, chances are you won't be as hungry for all of the tempting options.
  1. Stay active
It' hard to squeeze in exercise with all of the merrymaking and party hopping. Exercise is a great stress reliever, so keep it in your daily routine to help you battle holiday stress. With an earlier sunset and chilly temperatures, it can be hard to stay motivated, but don't let excuses stop you from keeping up with your fitness.
  1. Skip the sampling
If you're playing the role of ‘chef' for the family gatherings, try to avoid tasting as you cook. Or if you need a bite as you're surrounded by delicious-smelling food, have something that' easy to snack on nearby, such as carrots or celery. This will help you stay satisfied and then you won't feel guilty when you eat the final product.
  1. BYOD , or BYOT
Don't forget to bring your own dessert (or treats). Baked goods are often packed with calories, but you can always bake your own guilt-free version by swapping higher-calorie ingredients such as butter for healthier options like applesauce. Another option is to ditch the baked goods for fresh fruit, or as Facebook fan Larrie H. suggested, skip the dessert all together.
  1. Try one a day
If you deprive yourself of all sweets and savory treats you'll eventually cave. Try to limit yourself to one indulgence per day, and plan it out so that you're prepared. If you're attending many parties throughout season, consider asking the hosts about their menus beforehand so that you can map out your eating strategy. That way, you won't have to miss out on your favorite dip at one party and the best brownies at the next. It' always a good idea to plan ahead! Thanks to our fans who shared their healthy holiday eating tips. Good luck on staying healthy and fit this holiday season, and don't forget to have a great time. Happy holidays!