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Tips to avoiding packing on those extra holiday pounds

Look great over the holiday despite all the temptations

Author: Charlotte Kuchinsky November 20 2008

woman eating cream cake

Many people fear the holidays because they are afraid of putting on a few extra pounds. Some even turn down party and dinner invitations in hopes of avoiding any new bulges or rolls. However, holidays are the perfect time to touch base with family members and friends that you don’t see regularly throughout the year, so it is important not to let fears of gaining weight prevent you from having some holiday fun.

There are some minor adjustments that can be made to help ensure those extra pounds stay away. All it takes is knowledge, commitment, concentration, and a bit of willpower. Here are some suggestions that have worked for others and just might work for you as well!

  1. Eat a healthy breakfast. That old saying is true. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. More than that, however, skipping breakfast can actually establish a dangerous trend; grabbing a snack before lunchtime rolls around. Snacks, on the whole, tend to be far less healthy and full of unneeded calories.
  2. Eat smaller meals five times a day. Jumpstart your metabolism by keeping it working throughout the day. Instead of gorging yourself at lunch or dinner, spread the food intake out over your waking hours. You will find yourself eating less, enjoying it more, and you will keep your metabolism working properly.
  3. Don’t skip meals. While many people skip breakfast, which I do not recommend, some are able to get away with that. However, skipping lunch or dinner or, worse yet, both meals, leaves your body longing for fat to burn. When there is none, it will think it is being starved and slow your metabolism down to offset the starvation.
  4. Exercise your body. Exercise also helps to keep the metabolism working properly. However, it doesn’t have to be painful. Take a walk, swim a few laps, or dance to your favorite music. Have fun rather than torturing yourself. If you enjoy what you are doing you will be more likely to repeat the action again.
  5. Eat a piece of fruit or some veggies before any big meal. It will notify your body that more food is coming while also cutting down your appetite just enough to keep you from over-indulging.
  6. Don’t deny yourself the foods you really love. Denial only makes you angry and upset, fueling stress and anxiety. Eat whatever you want, but choose to eat less of it.
  7. Do not eat unless you are hungry. With lots of events to attend, you might feel obliged to eat something at each one. If you feel that way, fine, but make careful choices about what you put in your mouth. Reach for the healthiest items available. Better still, don’t eat unless you are really hungry. Most hosts and hostesses will understand your desire to keep your figure intact.
  8. Opt for non-alcoholic drinks or stick with sips of wine. Alcohol has lots of calories and just two or three drinks can ruin months of hard work. It isn’t worth it just to drink sociably.
  9. Drink plenty of water or ice tea. Water helps to make the body “feel” full even when it isn’t. Additionally, it is a great way to cleanse the system.
  10. Choose the foods that you eat carefully. Opt for mashed potatoes or yams, not both, and stay away from breads and other starches. Remove the skin from the turkey and wipe the honey glaze off of the ham. Use gravy sparingly, if at all. Those things are needless calories that you can save toward the piece of pumpkin pie you really want.
  11. Stop eating at least two hours before bedtime. Your metabolism slows significantly during the night and will not burn away those excess calories.
  12. Get enough sleep. Your body will not function as it should unless it is sufficiently rested.

Everyone should enjoy the holidays. There is no need to fill them with stress because of food, just make good decisions about what you put in your mouth and dedicate yourself to working off a few of those extra calories.

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That way, while your friends are making New Year’s resolutions about weight loss, you can instead concentrate on something else you want to do like read a novel, take a class, or volunteer with your favorite charity. Keep your holidays happy by making good decisions and have fun!

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