Avoid Weight Gain this Christmas

By Melinda Rice

'Tis season to be jolly, but unfortunately, the Christmas turkey is not usually the only thing that gets stuffed over the holidays. These tips will help you enjoy your Christmas festivities without putting on extra pounds.

1. Know the facts

The average turkey dinner contains more calories than the average adult needs in an entire day (for many, it's almost double the amount they need in a day). It can also contain the amount of fat grams required for an entire week, according to the American Council on Exercise. CNN reported that the average North American adult gains 7-10 pounds over the holiday season.

Don't be a statistic! When it comes to weight gain, imagine you are going into battle. Be prepared. This is a mental-emotional battle, so be on guard and remain proactive
2. Focus on the reason for the season

If you keep your focus on the reason for the season, you'll focus more on faith, family and thankfulness rather than feasting. This holiday, keep the primary focus on thankfulness, rather than feasting. Think of the food as a periphery item, a fringe benefit.

3. Enjoy the company

Enjoy the company. Are you getting together with family and/or friends? Celebrate relationships, take pleasure in the conversations, play games, start a new tradition…. just be together.

4. Practice your refusal skills

What will you say to turn down Aunt Edna's gravy soaked butter biscuits? What will you say when you are subjected to peer pressure to eat? How will you handle comments like, "I worked so hard to cook this!" and "Is that all you're going to eat?" Practice your responses. If you don't feel comfortable telling people that you are trying to trim up, perhaps a health-related excuse will be more comfortable. Who's going to argue with "I want to reduce my cholesterol so I don't have a heart attack."?

5. Eat Slowly

Remember, it takes the stomach about 15-20 minutes to signal the brain that it is full. By then, we've usually overeaten, especially during the holidays. Eat slowly, savoring every bite. Tell yourself that if you are still hungry 15-20 minutes after you finish what is on your plate, you can have more -- again, in moderation

Yes, you can gorge yourself like a gluttonous pig, but you don't want to! You have the right to eat to your heart's content -- and then some. You can pile your plate as high as your chin and dig in! You CAN eat until you make yourself sick. But, is that what your WANT? Make this decision before you fill your plate.

6. Small portions

Want to taste it all? Then do just that; taste it. Just because you want to enjoy all of the foods served during your family's dinner doesn't mean you need a full serving of each dish. Take enough to allow yourself one or two bites of each item. Serve yourself slightly larger portions of low fat items and turkey.

7. Don't skip dessert

Don't skip dessert. If you deprive yourself, you may be setting yourself up for greater temptation. Eat dessert, but take a small portion. Again, savor every bite. When you are done, say "That was delicious!" instead of "I wish I could have more."

8. Don't hang out by the food

If you park yourself in front of the hors d'oeuvres, you just may graze yourself an extra 300 - 1000 calories before you even sit down to dinner. If you must eat before the meal, pick a few low-cal items, put them on your plate, and move far, far away from the food.

9. Drink water

Make sure you always have a glass of water in your hand. Your hands and mouth will be occupied and it will help to fill up your stomach a bit so you don't overeat.

10. Limit your alcohol consumption

Alcohol provides "empty calories" and no nutritional value. Every drink should equal a serving of carbohydrates. If you feel pressured to drink too much by your family, make other holiday arrangements!

One day's worth of overindulgence has the potential to balance out one to two week's worth of workouts. (Think about it this way: 3,500 calories equals one pound.) Remember all of that hard work and sweat? Make sure it was worth the effort. Think of all of your progress and hard work while you are serving out your portion sizes on your plate. What you put into your body during the Christmas festivities just may make all the difference in what dress size you will wear for New Year's Eve celebrations.
Look for more tips online at http://www.SuccessfulFitness.com

Melinda Rice is a personalized fitness and lifetstyle coach.
Workplace Wellness www.SuccessfulFitness.com



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