Everyone seems to gain weight through the holidays, myself included. I always chalked it up to the colder weather and that metabolism slowed down over the holidays. Turns out it was just me that slowed down. Here's how to get through the holidays without gaining a spare tire.

Move It

This should be a no brainer. Any type of exercise is great and the faster you move away from the candies, cookies, cakes and pies, the better. Sure, it's cold out, but just think how quickly you walk to your car or the door of the store when you're outside in colder temperatures. Now, use that to motivate you to get moving. Dr. Kevin Plancher of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in New York City says your body actually words harder in the cold, so it's good to lace up those shoes and head outside, even if the temps drop.

Spice it Up

According to the health and fitness experts at Fitday, studies have shown that a spicy meal, such as a bowl of chili, can provide a temporary rise in metabolism of about 8% greater than a person’s typical metabolic rate. The temporary boost in metabolic rate may also help to suppress your desire to eat. Even ginger and black pepper can help you out, so feel free to add it, sprinkle it and mix it in.

Slow It Down

I've been told that in between bites, set the fork down while chewing. Then, swallow and take a small sip of water before picking up the fork again because when you eat slowly, you eat less because it takes your brain a while to catch up with your stomach to get the "I'm full" sensors to talk to each other. Sometimes things just taste too good and I forget, but when I do remember, I do it and strangely enough, it works. I have also been told that after you finish your plate, don't go back for seconds right away. The Michigan Dietetic Association says wait 15 to 20 minutes before taking a second helping of food and when you do, it should be about half the size of the first helping.

Calm Down

Stress on your body causes you to produce cortisol. Cortisol causes your body to gain weight, so remain calm. This is a very stressful time of the year, but don't beat yourself up about things. The Mayo Clinic urges us to devote time to relax. Yoga, meditation, even putting your feet up and reading for a little while can help out. Sounds weird, but relaxing can actually help you lose weight.