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Ah, the holiday season. Visions of tables covered in yummy food and desserts gets our mouths watering with the thought. I'll bet you are unaware that it is not uncommon for most people to gain an average of 8 pounds over the holiday season. With all the fatty, delicious foods and multiple house dinners, it's no wonder!
Just because you want to avoid putting on the pounds this holiday season doesn't mean you have to sacrifice taste, or skip out on parties. There are many things you can do to keep those extra calories from turning to fat. Continuing your regular exercise routine and practicing portion control are just a couple. Read on for more tips and tricks to avoid holiday weight gain this Christmas season.
Controlling your weight really is as simple as keeping a regular, consistent exercise routine. If you're already a workout queen or king, continue your normal workouts, but boost your cardio intervals to help burn off extra calories. If you've never exercised before, get a head start instead of putting it off as your New Year's resolution. Join a gym, buy a workout DVD, or go for twice-daily walks. If you start today, you'll probably see results before Christmas dinner- that's motivation!
You don't have to deny yourself any of those wonderful holiday treats. You simply need to practice eating them in moderation. If your office kitchen is regularly stuffed full of everyone's holiday baking dishes, don't sample every single item from each individual plate. Instead, pick one or two and have a small bite. Just don't keep returning to try the others as the day moves on ...
3. Skip dessert
If you find yourself at a holiday party or dinner and weren't able to control yourself on the main dishes, skip dessert. This will easily save you a minimum of 400 calories. In fact, skip dessert the rest of the week, too. This will help make up for the extra calories you consumed days before. This plan also works in reverse. Skip desserts for one week in order to enjoy everything your host has to offer on the day of the party or dinner.
4. Size down portions
If you just can't say no to anything, control your portion sizes. Take a little bit of everything available, but no more than a couple of tablespoons each. This way, you control calories but still get to enjoy everything on the menu.
5. Use a salad plate instead
This goes hand in hand with number four. Salad plates are smaller than dinner plates. Use it to your advantage!
6. Go for extra walks
Make it a habit go for a walk shortly after holiday meals. Better yet, throw in an extra daily walk at lunchtime every day of the week. Just 20 minutes of a walking at a fast pace will burn through extra calories from treats and snacks.
7. Drink more water
It's been proven that those who drink plenty of water, eat less and gain less than those who don't. If you're feeling like you just can't resist another piece of pie, try drinking a glass of water first. Often, you will feel full enough afterward to avoid the pie. And hey, you won't need to spend extra time working out to burn it off.
8. Substitute ingredients
If you are hosting a party or dinner this year, make some simple substitutions to save on calories. Instead of whole milk and butter in your mashed potatoes, try half and half and margarine instead. Or, scale down your menu and only offer two or three dishes instead of four or five.
9. Eat beforehand
Never, ever avoid eating prior to showing up at a holiday party or dinner. You will consume more calories this way. Instead, snack on a small salad or cup of soup before you head out. This way you won't attack the buffet as soon as you arrive!
10. Watch your alcohol intake
Holiday drinks are crammed with calories. Stick with water, or limit yourself to just one glass of bubbly.
This holiday season, enjoy your family, friends and food. Just stay honest and don't go overboard. Happy Holidays!
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