Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

50 Tips You Can Use - Part 1

1. Remember, a holiday is a DAY. Don’t spend it making up for all the cheesecake you’ve missed out on the rest of the year; have a slice. Then get back on track tomorrow.

2. Shop online. Surprised to hear me say that? During this busy season, you could opt to run yourself ragged, stay out late shopping, and well, treat yourself to a few late-night donuts, as a reward for finding just the right table lamp for your aunt. Forget it. Stay home, get organized, sip some hot chamomile tea (zero calories), and hit overstock.com; that’s what they’re there for. Save your energy for your workout.

3. Work out. (You knew that was coming, LOL!) There are no excuses, and it will keep you centered, grounded and focused, during this chaotic season.

4. Buy an incredibly sexy red dress in your “skinny size” for that holiday party you’ve been invited to. Cut off the labels and throw them away. There. Now you have to stay on track.

5. Water. It’s a wonderful thing. It hydrates, detoxifies, and helps you feel full. It helps your skin stay clear. Rehydrate after burning fat from your workout. (See Tip #3.)

6. Repeat after me: “White meat, please.” “Yes, plain baked yam.” “No thanks— no room on my plate for that buttermilk biscuit studded with globs of cheddar cheese, thanks just the same.”

White meat turkey has about half the fat of dark meat. You don’t need butter on the yam; sprinkle some cinnamon. No explanation should be needed about the biscuit.

7. You know those decorative treats displayed in the lunchroom at holiday time? They are loaded with sugar, butterfat, carbohydrates, and secret ingredients that add cellulite to your hips. See Tip #4.

8. Pass the gravy, please— and keep passing it. Gravy is made up of flour, salt, turkey fat, and broth. Do you really need to make that swimming pool in your mashed potatoes?

9. Be prepared! Have protein-rich snacks on hand at work; nibble a few nuts or seeds or whole-grain crackers to stave off hunger before a party; have a glass of soymilk to ease those hungry grumblings.

10. Carry your weight-loss journal with you, now more than ever. It was easy in the summer, what with lighter meals and all those fresh local veggies. Give yourself a fighting chance this season!

11. At holiday parties, fill up on healthy stuff; i.e., fresh raw veggies without the dip, plain chicken or turkey. That entitles you to a nibble of calorie-rich desserts— and this way you can honestly say you tried everything.

12. Walk around and talk to people. Concentrate on socializing, not on endeavoring to sample each and every delicacy on the buffet.

13. Don’t give in. “You just gotta try this,” says someone who is supposed to be your friend, as she shoves a concoction made of cream cheese, whipped cream, dried fruit and God-knows-what-else practically into your face. You don’t gotta.

14. Get excited about exercise! Choose to start that rock-climbing class now! Focus your attention on that— not on baking oatmeal-chocolate-chip-raisin-walnut cake bars for the office. There’s already enough of that stuff being sent to your place of employment by FedEx at this very moment. See Tip #7.

15. Don’t give up your healthy habits just because you’ve got a ton of errands to do. It’s just as easy to hit the health food deli and get some hot lentil soup and an herb-grilled chicken breast, as it would be to go next store and buy a pizza.

16. If you’ve still got Halloween candy hanging around, ditch it. In fact, ditch everything that has sugar, which impedes fat loss, and fill the fridge with raw carrots, bags of green salads, avocadoes, almonds, humus dip, and soynut butter (less fat than peanut butter).

17. Get enough sleep. Let your body heal itself. It’s winter, after all. And studies have shown that when we are sleep-deprived, the stress hormone cortisol is released at an increased level, which makes us feel hungry, even if we are full.

18. Just say NO to egg nog. An 8-ounce glass contains 343 calories, 11 grams of saturated fat, 21 grams of sugar, 34 grams of carbohydrates, and 150 mgs of cholesterol. And that’s without the rum.

19. Go green! Green tea, that is. Iced or hot, green tea helps you burn fat, fight off free radicals, and build stronger bones. Try jasmine-flavored, or mixed with yerba maté, for twice the fat-burning power!

20. Aw, go take a hike! I’m serious. I’m all about the lunchtime walk. Stand up straight, engage the abs, squeeze those glutes with each stride; I call it the “inner pinch.” And hey, if you don’t want to pinch your butt— well, no one else will want to, either.

21. Seaweed: it’s not just for getting tangled in your hair at the beach anymore. It blocks up to 75 percent fat, has thermogenic properties, and is loaded with minerals and phytonutrients. Have some miso soup with wakame, a nori roll stuffed with brown rice and avocado, and tasty seaweed salad for lunch today!

22. Clean the house from top to bottom, in preparation for the holidays. “Cardio Cleaning” burns almost 600 calories an hour!

23. Go outside and rake the leaves after cleaning the house. Yard work burns off about 400 calories an hour. And you’ll probably burn off even more when you jump into the leaf pile…

24. Avoid fruit juices; you might as well be drinking pop. Twelve ounces of Coca-Cola has 10 teaspoons/40 grams of sugar. The same amount of orange juice contains 8 teaspoons/33 grams; apple juice has 10 teaspoons/39 grams and grape juice contains 15 teaspoons/58 grams!

25. Eat vitamin and fiber-rich whole-grain breads and pastas. They keep you satisfied, and keep blood sugar and insulin levels stable.