Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Countdown: 10 Tips for a Healthy Holiday, Part 2

Continued from Part 1...

6)      Wait 10 minutes before going back for seconds… and then…
7)      Go back for second helpings of veggies & fruits. Studies have shown it takes your stomach 20 minutes to realize that it is full. Waiting a little bit after your first plateful gives your stomach time to realize if it really wants more food or not. If you do find you (and your stomach) want to go back to the serving line, head for the vegetables and fruit.
8)      Every calorie counts. Be wary of snacking. A half cup of nuts can pack 300- 400 calories; 5 oz of chocolate covered pretzels can be upward of 500-600 calories. Calories consumed from snacking can often be equal to those of a hearty lunch or dinner. If you're trying to lose or maintain your weight, you'll need to make sure you count those snacking calories as part of your daily totals.
9)      You may not have a fitness center nearby, but you can improvise! If   
         traveling takes you away from your fitness center or home gym, plan ahead. Choose a hotel/motel with a fitness center. If staying with friends/family, ask if they have any gym equipment you can use. Or plan a 30-45 minute walk/jog in the neighborhood or around a park.
10)    Set realistic goals/expectations, and be kind to yourself. Relapses and not-so-good judgment when it comes to holiday eating are normal occurrences. If planning ahead and good intentions falter, know that it’s ok and resolve to pick up where you left off as soon as the holiday ends.

 And three more tips, just for the heck of it…
·   Never leave for a holiday gathering with an empty stomach. Otherwise, you’ll be easily swayed from your weight-maintenance/weight-loss goals by the variety of treats offered. Instead, have a piece of fruit, cup of soup, or half a sandwich on your way out the door. You’ll be better able to resist the temptation to overeat. 
·   At a party or gathering, focus more on your fellow guests and less on the food. Parties are really about having fun and enjoying family and friends, not eating. If you feel naked without something in your hand while at a party, make it a glass of water or diet drink. 
·   If you’ve received more than your fill of food gifts, donate some to soup kitchens or neighborhood shelters.

Best of luck to you as you conquer holiday parties and feasts. Have a happy & healthy
holiday season.

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