Win the battle of the bulge this holiday season

A little planning can keep those pounds off

Contributed by Angela Fitch, MD

holiday dinnerAhh…the holidays! Scrumptious dinners. Sweet treats. Holiday “spirits.” Believe it or not, you can enjoy the holidays without adding inches to your waist. But before I give you my list of tips for fighting holiday weight gain, I want to make one key point. It’s very likely you’re going to over eat at least a couple times during the holidays. It’s not necessary to have a perfect track record, but please don’t use this as an excuse to just give up on eating healthy and exercising until after the New Year. Instead, acknowledge what you did, take a deep breath and get back to making good choices and living a healthy lifestyle. It’s much easier to get back on track sooner than it is later. So no matter whether your weakness is the holiday stuffing or your favorite fudge, it’s not too late to turn things around.

Tips for preventing holiday weight gain

  • Avoid temptation. If you’re someone who just can’t resist sweets, control your risk for temptation. For example, if the break room at work is filled with cookies and candy, avoid walking through it as often as you normally might. Or at home, don’t put treats on the kitchen counter or coffee table where it’s in plain sight.
  • Never go to a party hungry. The hungrier you are, the less able you are to stay in control.
  • Beware of liquid calories. Many of your favorite holiday drinks (eggnog, coffee drinks with whip cream, spiced rum, and hot toddies have as many calories as a small pizza.
  • Go to socialize. Instead of making food the focus at parties, make connecting with family and friends your priority.
  • Don’t stop your exercise routine. Traveling, parties and preparations definitely cut into your normal routine. Plan ahead to make sure you have time to exercise. Consider trying the Scientific 7-Minute Workout.
  • Get eight hours. Along with exercise, sleep is another thing that tends to get to suffer during a busy holiday season.
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