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Combat Holiday Weight Gain

By:
Martin Hanft

The holidays should be a time of good feelings. Keep yourself feeling good by keeping yourself fit.

Staying in shape over the holidays is not as difficult as it sounds. Although the rich foods and extra leisure time can make slacking off tempting, having a plan will help you maintain your edge.

How to Manage Holiday Weight

  • Stay Active

    If you're worried about potential weight gain, remember that walking is one of the easiest, safest, and most effective forms of exercise. A short, brisk walk early in the day will start the day off on the right note and may inspire you to take a longer walk later--say, after holiday dinner. If it's cold out, you'll burn even more calories! 

  • Set Goals

    Set a seasonal goal for yourself to take you from Thanksgiving to New Years. Whether it's a jog every day, or a gym workout, decide in advance what your goal will be. Tell family and friends. When everyone knows you'll be taking care of yourself in this way, it will be easier to stick to your plan. You may even inspire others to join in! 

  • Stay Hydrated

    If your goal is not to overeat, drink plenty of water. One or two glasses before a meal will discourage overeating and provide the body with essential hydration.

  • Eat Slowly, Chew Well

    Eating consciously will help satisfy your hunger with less food and will discourage mindless snacking. 

  • Keep Track of What You Eat

    Keeping a mental or literal log of how much you have eaten each day can go a long way toward moderating consumption.

  • Manage Portions

    Use a small plate and take smaller portions.

  • Drink Moderately

    Remember that alcohol reduces inhibitions--including your desire not to overeat.

Sources

"8 Secrets to Staying Fit during the Holidays" by Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, FACM, http://Health.USNews.com

"15 Surefire Strategies to Stay Fit from Thanksgiving to New Years," http://Greatist.com