Friday, 19 December 2008

Healthy Over the Holidays- NOT an Oxymoron!

Between Thanksgiving and New Years there are about 12 weeks- they are most likely the busiest weeks for celebrations and get togethers with family and friends. Thanksgiving supper (and all those meals with its leftovers), Halloween parties (and those leftover candies) then there are all the holiday work parties, feasts with friends and of course family gatherings- all of which usually revolve around food.

Its no wonder that most people gain weight at this time of the year. But is weight gain a must? For those if us who have tried hard this year to stay fit, all is not lost! Here are my top 10 tips on how to avoid gaining weight during this seasons holidays:

1. Eat breakfast: skipping it leads to binging later on and a less efficient metabolism. We must wake up our metabolisms by eating food in the morning- and this process of waking up helps our body to burn 40 more calories an hour.

2. NO empty party stomachs: Eating a healthy snack before going to the parties (example: yogurt with a fruit or a small salad) will help you avoid binging on the high calorie party food.

3. Keep your distance: mindless munching can occur while standing near the food tables. Standing further away from the food can help you avoid all the extra calories that come with the appetizers.

4. Put activities center stage: Try making an activity the highlight of your party rather than the meal. In other words, don’t make eating the only activity of the evening.

5. Avoid binge drinking: not only does alcohol contain a lot of empty calories, but it makes you more likely to over eat.

6. Brush up: Carry a toothbrush with you and brush between meals. This takes care of mindless snacking.

7. Be prepared: with healthy meals ready at hand, you can eat well between parties. Make double the recipes of your regular pre-holiday meals and freeze them into your own frozen dinners.

8. Just say no: decline offers to take leftovers home. One high fat meal can turn into many if you load up on leftovers.
9. Pack ‘em up: If you are hosting the party, pack up the leftovers for your guests to take home.

10. Divide and conquer: If you are stuck with the leftovers, separate them into containers and make pre-portioned meals to freeze and enjoy later.

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