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8 Tips to Keep Away Extra Holiday Pounds

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Before you bite into that delicious turkey meal, read these 8 tips to keep away those unwanted holiday pounds. And try to make em’ stick throughout this holiday season!

Rest Up

Studies show that adults who do not get at least seven hours of sleep eat about 300 more calories a day and tend to choose higher-fat and higher-calorie foods.  Getting a minimum of seven hours or more of sleep can save you calories and help you make healthier choices.

Choose Wisely

Eat your calories low to high. At parties, start with soups and salads,  then your high-protein entrées. By the time you get to the high-calorie, high-sugar desserts, you will be more likely to be sated and less likely to go overboard.

Choose a Smaller Plate

This can trick your mind into thinking you are eating more and help control your portions. Try a salad plate instead of a dinner plate to eat 40 percent less and save the calories.

Don’t Starve Yourself before Parties

Going without your normal, routine meals will lead to low blood sugar levels, which will release cortisol in the brain. This increase will cause you to crave the salty, fatty, sugary foods. Instead, stay on routine and eat healthy snacks throughout the day.

Plan Ahead on Shopping Days

Long shopping days at the mall may lead to bad food choices like fast foods because they are quick and convenient. Keep healthy snacks on hand in your car or purse. Having high-protein and healthy snacks such as seeds and nuts will keep you satisfied until you can find the time to eat a well-thought out healthy meal.

Yes, Here It Comes, Limit Alcohol

Go in with a plan in terms of libations. Stick to the low-calorie, low-sugary drinks. Stay away from the juice-based cocktails and make sure that after every cocktail you follow with a full glass of water. This will slow the process down and will allow you to control the amount of alcohol you are putting in your system.  Over indulgence in alcohol usually leads to over indulgence in food and poor choices. Or better yet, be the designated driver!

Don’t Forget Your Workouts

Again, this takes planning. Try to leave time in your day to stay on your workout routine. When you know there will not be time to get to the gym, you can compensate by: 1) finding the farthest parking spot from your destination; 2) walking briskly between stores; and 3) converting house cleaning into a workout by lunging when vacuuming and doing squats when picking things up off the floor.

Lastly, No Guilt

For some reason, your plan didn’t work and you over indulged a little. Don’t get down on yourself. Get right back on it the next day. Guilt can lead to the total destruction of your holiday plan. Don’t make the mistake of feeling bad one day and throwing in the towel altogether.

Follow these steps and you’ll have one less thing to be stressed about during the holidays. You’ll look great in that tailored suits or fitted dress and be on track for your New Year’s resolution to have better, healthier habits.

Tips courtesy Brian Raub, wellness director at the J. Douglas Williams YMCA Family Center in Lake Mary.

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