Battling the Holiday Bulge

This is the time of year it's easy to put on a few pounds and not notice until one day you're struggling to button your pants. There is an abundance of holiday food, people are in the mood to cook and eat together, and it's so cold I think something in our brains automatically makes us want to put on some fat to keep us warm! One statistic I found says the average American gains at least five pounds during the six-week winter holiday period.

So I've been doing some research to keep that little tummy we all form during this time of year away. Battling the bulge before it ever exists, if you will. Lord knows it's quite a bit easier to put it on than take it off.

Here are some tips I found at http://www.mealsmatter.org/EatingForHealth/Topics/article.aspx?articleId=40:

Holidays are no time to diet
Why spoil the festivities by feeling guilty about indulging in special foods for special times? You will likely feel frustrated and deprived when you force yourself to say “no,” or guilty when you decide to indulge. Rather than trying to lose weight, try to prevent weight gain.
 
Tips for sensible holiday eating

  1. Never go to a party ravenous because you’re more likely to overeat.
  2. Take small portions from the buffet table.
  3. Choose a few of your favorites hors d’ouevres, in sensible amounts, rather than a pile of everything offered.
  4. Avoid drinking too much alcohol and other high calorie drinks. Alcohol can increase your appetite and lower your resolve to resist overeating.
  5. Go light on dips, chips and sauces and concentrate on fresh veggies, fruit and lean meats.
  6. Put together a plate of food and sit down and eat, rather than walking around the buffet table several times or sampling from passing trays.
  7. Eat slowly. You’ll likely find you’re full and don’t really want seconds.
  8. Go easy on the holiday cookies and cakes. Have one special dessert or split one with a friend.

Stay active
Physical activity is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your family during the holiday season. Fitness experts recommend at least 30-60 minutes a day. During the busy holiday season, sneak in exercise by:

  • Walking before or after your holiday meal.
  • Picking up your walking pace while shopping at the mall.
  • Parking at one end of the mall and walking to the other end and back.
  • Using the stairs instead of the escalator.

All of these small steps toward maintaining your weight during the holidays can add up to big steps toward your lifelong good health. Happy Holidays!
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