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Article Teaser: The holidays are here and coming with them are the traditional, seasonal foods we all know and love. Whether it's turkey, ham, latkes, eggnog, or sugar cookies, rich foods tend to work their way into our hearts and bellies this time of year, as meals and as leftovers. For those worrying about the seasonal seven, here are seven simple tips for keeping off the holiday pounds.

Keep reading below...

Seven Steps to Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Copyright (c) 2010-2017

The holidays are here and coming with them are the traditional, seasonal foods we all know and love. Whether it's turkey, ham, latkes, eggnog, or sugar cookies, rich foods tend to work their way into our hearts and bellies this time of year, as meals and as leftovers. Almost invariably, these lead to talk of the infamous 'seasonal seven,' the average amount of weight you could gain over the holidays. There's a reason so many New Year's resolutions involve losing weight and exercising more.

The interesting thing is that many of these concerns can be avoided before the fact, rather than repented of later. For those worrying about the seasonal seven, here are seven simple tips for keeping off the holiday pounds.

Step 1: Make your decisions now, not then.

Lapses in willpower typically occur right at the moment of temptation. We see something big and tasty, and decide that one more helping couldn't hurt too much, and then we're surprised when we've eaten half the dish. Fortunately, there's a trick that you can use that will give your willpower a bit of an edge when the time comes.

Set your limits before you go, maybe as much as a week in advance. Remind yourself that you'll stick to just one small serving of dessert, or that you'll use only a single spoon of gravy instead of two. With the decision made beforehand, there's less temptation to change it when at the table.

Step 2: Set your alcohol limits.

Holiday gatherings frequently involve alcoholic drinks, and these are one of the sneakiest sources of holiday weight gain people can consume. We don't often realize it, but alcoholic drinks do contain numerous calories. A 12-ounce bottle of lager can easily have 125-150 calories, depending on the brand. Having even two or three beers is a big chunk of a 2,000-calorie diet, and we're typically not in an exercising mood afterwards.

Fortunately, this is a fairly easy factor to control. Set yourself a hard limit on alcoholic drinks before the get-together, such as one serving with the meal, or one for the New Year's Eve toast. If you find that people are trying to hand you drinks when your hand is empty, carry around a glass of water or juice so you can show them you're already set.

Step 3: Eat Slowly.

Remember all those holiday meals where you ate and ate, until you suddenly felt so full you could barely breathe, let alone move? Some experts suggest that we can actually eat past the point that our stomach is reasonably full. Our stomachs are slow to send the signal for 'full' to our brains sometimes, so we eat past the point we should.

A way to avoid this is to simply slow down our eating at the table. Take smaller portions to start with, and take the time to enjoy them. Pause for a minute between servings, to let your stomach 'catch up' so to speak. You'll find that you probably consume fewer calories overall, while still enjoying everything the meal has to offer.

Step 4: Eat Healthy.

This may sound like a herculean task, but there are many healthy, delicious options open to us during holiday meals. Green beans, corn, and cranberries often make it onto the traditional holiday table, for example. Consider adding a few extra servings of these sides to round out the heavier staples of the meal, for a sense of fullness and some extra nutrition.

There are healthy drink alternatives as well. Consider replacing your dinner soda or beer with a healthy juice cocktail. A cranberry juice blend mixed with plain soda water is delicious and healthy for you. Drink plenty of plain water as well, as it will help with digestion and keep your body functioning healthily.

Step 5: Exercise!

From the way some people talk, it would almost seem like there's a prohibition on exercising over the holidays, but this simply is not the case. Perhaps you don't have time to make it to the gym, and that's understandable. But you probably do have a few minutes to jog up the stairs and walk back down them once or twice, just to get your heart rate up.

Additionally, there are traditionally family sporting events at some holiday get-togethers. Consider organizing a quick round of flag football or soccer before dinner. Your appetite will be fired up, and you'll have burned off some of those holiday calories in advance.

Step 6: Have a light snack.

Frequently, we try to wait to eat as long as possible before the big meal, so we can save up room. This is actually one of the best ways to gain extra weight, because we start packing in the food with more gusto when we're hungrier. Consider a modest snack a couple hours before the meal, such as an apple or a light sandwich. The extra food will help you keep your resolution to eat in moderation later.

Step 7: Get help.

Watching the holiday weight is harder to do when you have to do it alone. Talk to your friends and family, and ask them to help you watch what you eat. Ask the host if they'll make extra veggies with the meal so you can stick to your healthy eating plan, for example. Team up when you go for your exercise, and get a partner for those short brisk walks around the block. Having a little company will make it more enjoyable, and maybe a little more effective.

Good luck, and Happy Holidays.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Julie J. Price is Director of Weight Management at http://www.HabitChanger.com/, offering effective and empowering solutions for losing weight. Try our 42-day weight loss program for Losing Weight.

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Internal ID: #7248
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Word Count: 925

Total Views: 1610

Article Rating: 3.50 of 5
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