Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How to Avoid Putting on Pounds over the Holidays

How to avoid putting on pounds over the holidays:

Halloween marks the start of the holiday season.  Enjoying friends and family, time together...and food!  Purchased candy for trick-or-treaters sits in the house before Halloween and after, and if you have kids that trick-or-treat, the boobie traps are even harder to avoid as they bring more goodies into the house.
Speaking of Halloween, it's this very weekend! And while this holiday may be marketed to kids, we grownups often use it as an excuse to indulge. Not a problem if you can limit yourself to Halloween night, but that can be difficult, since the candy parade begins well before the 31st and often lingers for days and sometimes weeks afterward. You can survive the caloric nightmare with these three simple guidelines:
1. Buy the bare minimum of candy you think you’ll need for trick-or-treaters.
2. Don’t open the bags until October 31. (we've already flunked this one!)
3. Give away the leftovers the day after Halloween. (Tough, but it can be done!)
This week in the mail, an enterprising young dentist in the area sent out a postcard advertising a candy "buy-back".  He pays a dollar per pound of candy you bring to his office.  What a great idea!
Other advice for surviving the holidays:
Don’t skip run the risk of overeating later, just out of desperation.  Better to keep yourself fueled with well thought out smaller meals that include fruits, veggies and lean protein.
Budget your calories.  Eat, but eat lighter earlier in the day, by choosing lower calorie, higher nutrient foods for breakfast and lunch.  Be sure to work out!
Drink lots of water—including two glasses before lunch and two glasses before dinner. Sometimes I find myself in the kitchen, thinking I'm hungry, and really, I'm thirsty.  That's because mild dehydration can mimic hunger. Drinking water prior to a meal starts to fill you up before you take your first bite of food so you’ll eat less.
Make sure you exercise for 30 to 60 minutes five or more days per week. That's right--consistency is the key to your success. Exercise goes hand-in-hand with calorie control. And it's a fabulous stress buster.  I can't tell you how surprised I am, year after year, by all of the folks that start getting stressed out around the holidays, but start skipping their exercise.  Frankly, this is a HUGE mistake, as holidays and family tend to increase stress, and stress eating. It's a prescription for gaining 10-15 pounds over the holidays.  Don't let this happen to you!

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