By Brian Cannone

If you are involved in the world of fitness modeling or bodybuilding shows you may really dread the arrival of the winter holidays. From November through the New Year it is a time of serious dietary trouble. This is why you have to “stay strict” with yourself over the entire “eating season” if you don’t want to derail your fitness goals, diet, and general sense of well-being.

“Oh yeah,” you might say “that’s great, but I also get to look like an obsessive fitness nut in front of my friends, co-workers, and family if I refuse every cookie, candy, and fattening meal offered!”

While that is certainly an issue of concern, we can give you a few pointers that will allow you to enjoy the holidays, all of the visits to friends and family, all of the parties, and yet look normal and still stay right on track.

The tips we suggest include:
Establish daily goals – you know if you have plans for a meal with friends or an office party. All you have to do is look at the day ahead and establish a few simple goals that will allow you to enjoy yourself and put any dining issues right out of your head. How? Well, let’s say that you know you have a neighborhood party that evening. Go ahead and structure your diet for that day to allow a few bites from the buffet. For instance, drop the fat content from ten percent of each meal to around five percent and then allow your last meal to have ten to twenty percent, etc.

Eat before you go out – when you put a hand to your ripped abs and say “no thanks…I ate a little while ago”, people can often tell if you are lying. Don’t lie! Actually eat one of your four or five small meals before heading out the door. That way you will not be tempted and they will see the truth in your eyes when you tell them that you just ate an hour ago!

Accept mistakes – one of the worst things you can do is to beat yourself up over a mistake. Okay, you ate four of those killer brownies at your mother’s house, don’t dwell on it, and just do a bit of extra cardio to help burn off those calories in the morning (remember that morning cardio really taps into stored carbs from the day before!).