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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Avoid Holiday Overeating

The holiday season is in full swing. And with Christmas right around the corner, we will be facing buffets upon buffets of food. Don't panic. This is a difficult time for us all. There is good news -- you can get through the holidays without overeating and gaining a bunch of unwanted weight by following a few of my tips.

1. Eat small meals throughout the day. Don't starve yourself all day waiting for dinner. Eating small meals, starting with breakfast, gets your metabolism working to burn calories throughout the day.

2. Eat before. Before attending a holiday party, have a small snack like a piece of fruit or yogurt before. This will help prevent you from overeating at the function.

3. Just say no. Well, say, no thank you. Don't feel pressured into eating a sampling of each dish. Also, don't give into a pushy host pressuring you into tasting something you don't want. Instead, change the subject by complimenting the host's hard work.

4. Watch your alcohol. Alcohol has a ton of calories, and it is easy to drink more than you anticipated. Before your night out, decide on how many drinks you will have and stick to it. Opt for light beers and wines. Also, limit egg nog as it too is high in calories.

5. Avoid seconds. I can guarantee you that the calories you eat in your first serving will be far more than your body needs. There is no need for immediate seconds. Not to mention that you'll probably be stuffed anyway. Instead, wait a couple hours before you go back for more.

6. Limit dessert. Ah, yes, dessert. I know for many people, this is their favorite part of the holidays. Just choose one dessert or take a very small taste of a couple that you really like so that it equals one serving.

7. Exercise. Just because it is a holiday doesn't mean you can't work out. Try to get 20-30 minutes of exercise.

8. Limit high-carb foods. Try to have smaller portions of potato and pasta dishes. Also, limit the amount of bread you eat. Try to stick with one serving of bread. Instead eat more vegetables and fruit.

Remember, this is a time to be with your family and friends. And although food is a huge part of this time period, don't make it the most important part. If you do eat too much, don't stress about it -- just get back on track the next day.

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