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Smarter Health: Tips so you don’t tip the holiday scale!

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I've already had two holiday parties and am heading to another one this weekend...all in the first week of December. Parties mean two things: first, fun times with friends and family and second, yummy food and drink.

You can read article after article about gaining those holiday pounds (why do we think so many New Year's Resolutions involve hitting the gym and better diets?). It's a common problem for a lot of us around this time of year. Luckily, there are also hints and tips on how to combat that urge to eat more than we should during these festive occasions. Here are a few I rounded up:

-- Watch what you eat during the rest of the day. Now, don't not eat, as then when you arrive, you will definitely inhale way more appetizers than you should, but skip the pizza lunch and opt for a salad before that holiday cocktail party at the office.

-- Stay well hydrated. Often when we think we are hungry, we are actually just thirsty. Add in salty foods and alcohol, both of which you may have more of these days, and your body needs some H2O stat.

-- Choose wisely. I dig those "Eat This, Not That" books and advice. They give you a practical guideline for how to navigate those buffet tables and holiday treats without going hungry. For example, opt for shrimp cocktail over the appetizer meatballs, white turkey meat over dark meat, a bite or two of regular chocolate over candy canes, and champagne rather than egg nog.

-- Use a smaller appetizer plate. Bypass the large dinner plates and "fool" yourself into having a big portion. You will be surprised how full you will be just eating what is on that smaller plate.

-- Pick your vice. Let's say you know you have a sweet tooth, so definitely have a slice of pie and try the chocolate truffles, but skip the mashed potatoes and drink water instead of egg nog. Perhaps you love to drink champagne to celebrate the holidays. Then sip your bubbly, but bypass the dessert table. Stick to that one "bad food" and always still remember moderation is key.

Do you gain weight during the holidays? How do you stay on a healthy track with all of the festive food around?

© Daneger

by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (21-30):
by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 11:41 PM

 i dont really gain weight during the holidays. i allow myself to indulge on the holidays but not overly. i'm not a big eater as it is

by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 7:46 AM

It's going to be really hard this year, since I've just been diagnosed with diabetes, and my favorite foods are the sweets. I guess I'll choose fudge as my one vice. I know, I know, shouldn't have it all all, but how can you make it and not have some?

by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 8:00 AM
This is the first year i have to closely monitor what goes in my mouth so i should be good
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by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 8:14 AM
I don't usually gain weight around the holidays.
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by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 9:21 AM

I stay on track by eating smaller portions,Stay out of the kitchen, counting calories and a bit of exercise.

by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 9:48 AM

I'm a fan of the 'pick your vice' thing. If there are tons of sweets out and that's what I'm wanting, I won't drink. If I'm looking to have a couple drinks, I'll eat some appetizer like food and skip the sweets. Things like that :)

by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 10:51 AM
I workout,don't over do iit!! I drink lots of water&never wear stretchy pants! Especially not during holiday dinner! :-)
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by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 11:50 AM

It's all about the portions :)

by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Good tips

by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 1:40 PM

I stay pretty healthy but do eat some goodies

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