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How to Prevent Your Weight from Going Up This Holiday Season...
Monday, 21 November 2011 00:00

Watch_What_You_EatHoliday weight gain is often accepted as part of the season.

Depending on what holidays you celebrate, the high-calorie treats can start at the end of October and go through to Valentine's Day!

But if you implement a few smart eating strategies and regular exercise to your holiday routine, weight gain does not have to be inevitable.

Keep reading now as I share with you some tips for avoiding weight gain this holiday season...

Set Limits Ahead of Time

This has probably happened to you - at a family gathering, party, or other holiday event, you are faced with all kinds of "naughty" foods that you know you shouldn't eat. The event ends with you eating plenty of goodies and feeling guilty about it.

This is what happens when you don't have predetermined limits. Instead of having a vague idea like "I really shouldn't eat so much," or an overly-strict approach like "I won't eat any sweets or fat," try setting realistic limits that still allow you to have some treats. For example, before an event, tell yourself you will eat one sweet item and one small portion of a fattening food, such as rich dip and chips. And you can fill up on low-calorie foods like vegetable crudités or shrimp cocktail.

It's about More Than Food

Try not to get fixated on the food at a holiday event; the holiday season is about more than food. This perspective helps whether you're throwing the event or attending. Think of the gathering primarily as time together to talk or dance and the food as a sideline.  

Be Careful with Beverages

Wine has fewer calories than beer or hard liquor, and rich dessert liqueurs can really be high in calories and fat. So if you want to have a drink, try to go for wine, but not too much - if you get too relaxed you might lose your inhibitions about the food you're eating. To stick to your limits and discipline, it's probably a good idea to minimize alcoholic beverages.

Non-alcoholic beverages can pack in calories, too, depending on the recipe. If you're throwing the party, look for low-calorie, lighter versions of favorites like eggnog and cocoa.

Reduce Stress

Some sources point out that stress can be just as much a factor in weight gain as excess calories. Engage in your favorite stress-reducing activity such as meditation, prayer, stretching, or deep breathing.

Regular Exercise

Yes, you've heard this before. But regular exercise not only reduces stress which, as noted above, is also a factor in weight gain; it also keeps excess weight at bay by burning it off. During the fall, exercises like regular walking and hiking are fairly easy to do; but when the weather gets cold, dark and wet in the winter, it can be more challenging. That's when a fun exercise video can be a big help, or a mini indoor trampoline. You could also enroll in a class or go to the gym where you can exercise indoors.

Another benefit of exercise is the potential for appetite control. Sources say that vigorous exercise can reduce your appetite for several hours, so consider a brisk walk or workout before a holiday get-together.

These are only a few ideas to help you say no to weight gain this holiday season. Be creative when it comes to holiday eating. Don't deprive yourself when it comes to holiday goodies but learn to use moderation to avoid gaining extra pounds this year.

If losing a few pounds is part of your 2012 New Year's Resolution and you'd like our help be sure to to fill out our weight loss survey and you'll receive a FREE Weight Loss Consultation and Body Fat Analysis.
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Meet Dr. Woodrow

Adrian Woodrow, M.D. is committed to the prevention of disease and remains current in all leading related medical developments.
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