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Holiday Pounds
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‘Tis the season to eat too much and gain weight. The slew of cookies, cakes, candies, and calories comes floating down like snow between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Studies indicate that this time of year increases the number on the scales for many. What can you do to keep off the pounds and still enjoy the season? Here are a few quick tips.

First, remember Ben Franklin’s advice, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” What can you do to prevent weight gain? Plan ahead. Don’t fill your home with junk food. Limit how many batches of cookies you bake. Consider purchasing or making whole food treats. For instance, you can easily cut one-fourth to one-half of the sugar and oil used in most desserts like cookies when baking them. Decide before you go to a holiday event not to eat the “after program” snacks. Eat a healthy supper before going out.

Another strategy for watching your weight during the holidays is to choose what you eat and how much you eat at those special meals. Christmas dinner is often a meal of many different foods piled high on your plate. Eating isn’t just a physical desire, it is tied to our emotions as well. Instead of just “doing what you always do”, think ahead. Say to yourself, “I’m only going to eat one plate of food and half of my plate will have a vegetables or salad” and “I don’t need three pieces of pie, one will do just fine.”

Hidden Calories

It is easy to eat too much when you go out to holiday parties. Why not bring a low-calorie dish or provide a healthy alternative to the table? It might be wise to choose how many events to attend if you have alternatives. Some people find themselves walking by the food or dessert table too much so they consciously sit or stand away from the tempting dishes of treats. One person said, “There are hidden calories in many drinks. I make sure to drink lots of water ahead of time and it helps curb my thirst for unhealthy drinks.”

More and more people find it easy to let go of their exercise routine during the holidays. They feel rushed to squeeze in a daily walk or other aerobic workout. Others just don’t feel like getting bundled up in the cold weather. Something you can do to help you push past this hump is to simply get dressed for a walk outside. The act of getting your walking shoes on and putting on sweats and a jacket can actually change your mood.

One last tip: Listen to your body. You may laugh and say, “I do! My tongue says ‘more, more!’” What I mean is to ask, “Am I full? If I’m truly hungry, would I get seconds on a salad?” Let your brain guide your tongue, not the other way around. Choose how you will eat this holiday season.

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By Curtis Rittenour. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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