Tips for Keeping the Extra Pounds Off During the Holidays

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The holiday season is here, and with it comes a whole barrage of home-baked goods. You don’t have to skip the sweet stuff in order to fit into your jeans, but you will need to at least be conscious of your holiday habits if you want to come out on the other side the same size. Here are five tips for keeping the extra pounds off during the holidays.

Portions. It’s okay to indulge in holiday goodies. After all, isn’t that part of what the holiday season is about? Treat yourself to one of grandma’s cookies, or to a piece of your coworker’s homemade fudge. Just don’t eat the whole plate.

Pre-party. Part of the holiday cheer is brought to you by the myriad holiday parties thrown by your friends, family, and employer. There are some precautions you can take before you head out to a holiday party to better your chances of not overdoing it while you are there. Get a good workout in sometime the day of – even a half hour will do – to get your metabolism running at full speed. Before you head out, eat a healthy, low-calorie meal and drink a huge glass of water. That way you won’t feel the need to stand by the buffet table all night.

Alcoholic beverages. If you’re attending holiday parties, then chances are you’re also going to be drinking. Stay away from the sweet, mixed drinks – which tend to be laden with calories – and stick to a glass of white wine or a simple gin and tonic.

Sleep. Studies show that a lack of sleep can actually slow the metabolism and increase cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone that prompts your body to store fat and gain weight. Sleep is not just for your mental health, but also for your physical fitness, so be sure to get eight hours a night.

Awareness. Track everything you eat during the holidays. That’s right – write it down. It’s not as difficult as you may think. Just carry a small notebook and record what you eat so that you can stay aware of exactly what, and how much, you are taking in. It’s all too easy to sneak a cookie every time you walk past the platter, or to double-up on your favorite side dish, or to go back for seconds. These things add up, and when you’re aware of what you are eating, you’re much less likely to overdo it.

Here are some simple steps you can take to fight the holiday bulge. They can all be integrated into your holiday routine in a way that won’t affect the most important part of the holidays: enjoying your blessings and being in the company of those you love.

By Dona Collins for Not Just The Kitchen

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