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Tips for a Healthy Holiday


Research has shown that those holiday pounds are part of the culprit of the obesity epidemic. Each year, many people just keep adding a few extra pounds until one day they wake up significantly overweight. If you're careful though, one can survive December without taking a hit to your waistline or your blood pressure.



I know it's hard to resist all those yummy treats and drinks that surround you this time of year. But with a few simple changes in your diet and exercise pattern, you can hold steady and not gain any extra weight.

  • Practice Conscious Eating Pattern

Pay attention to portion sizes, enjoying only a bite or two of those holiday treats. Don't deprive yourself, otherwise it will only lead to intense cravings, which can turn into binges. Satisfy your desires with a taste instead of a huge portion.



Cut down on saturated fat in creamy dressings by mixing in some nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt. Use non-stick cookware so you can cook with a minimum of oil or vegetable oil spray. For a wonderful flavor enhancer, sprinkle food with vinegar or citrus juice. Add it at the last minute so the flavor is at its strongest. Substitute chopped vegetables for some of the bread in your stuffing recipe. Boiled shrimp, clams, or any un-fried seafood with cocktail sauce is an elegant and healthy party pleaser. Eat a little before you go to a holiday gathering; hunger can undo the best intentions.






  • Try to maintain your present Weight

Holiday is not the best time for weight loss. Its important to maintain your physical activity during the holidays the American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes or more of exercise most days of the week.



Your goal should be to rock steady at your present weight. It is really tough to lose weight around the holidays, but if you can simply maintain your current weight, you are way ahead of the game. If you are among the lucky few who are actually losing weight in December, kudos to you -- keep up the great work.





  • Keep Your Energy Up: Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

Find physical activities that you enjoy or just squeeze in 10 minutes here and there to add up to fat-burning exercise. If you want to maintain your weight during the holidays and be able to enjoy small portions of the seasonal treats, you have to fit in exercise. While it might seem like a daunting task when you are really busy, exercise increases your energy and improves your mood. Upon returning from an invigorating walk, you will be amazed that you actually feel energized, less stressed, and inspired to be productive.


If you do three 10 minute walks or two 15 minute walks, that adds up to 30 minutes of exercise for the day.



  • Keep Stress at bay

A 15 minute nap can work wonders to help get you going. Many people simply do not get enough sleep and hit the wall at a certain time during the day. Taking a few minutes out to rest will leave you feeling refreshed soon after you get up. Listening to music is another great way to lift your mood and get you going, especially upbeat kinds of music that you enjoy.



One way to keep stress at a minimum is to lower your expectations about holidays. Ask for help to lighten your holiday schedule.



Make your plan, stay focused, and keep your resolve not to gain any extra weight this month.





 

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