Health/Fitness » Fitness

Combating the Holiday Pounds

by Kyle Washburn
Health & Fitness Editor
Friday Nov 30, 2012

We made it through Thanksgiving. Phew! We are in the clear right? Of course not. We are in no way past the foods, meals, sweets, and drinks that pack on the holiday pounds. With so many house, company, and friend holiday parties, festivities, and meals it becomes easy to overindulge and add inches to the waist and pounds to the body.

New Year's resolutions are great, but how about setting some goals to travel more, spend time with family and friends, sleep more, and do more things we love to fulfill our lives instead of the usual weight loss, more gym time, and increased working out goals?

Here are some tips to arm yourself for a successful holiday season.

1. If it is not in the house, you will not eat it!

Do not buy holiday candies, foods, or eggnog for the home. If someone kindly drops off cakes or cookies, take them to the office and share with everyone. Coworkers will love you and need not know your not so altruistic motivation is really aimed at saving your own waist line.

2. If you eat before a party, you will not eat so much during round two!

Before heading to a holiday gathering where food and drink will be present, eat and drink something filling beforehand. Simple options that fill your stomach that do not leave room to consume or imbibe much more at the party include a large glass of water, tea, coffee, broth based soups, salads with a lot of veggies and balsamic vinegar, vegetables with hummus, fruit with peanut butter, cottage cheese, or unsweetened or plain Greek yogurt.

3. If you plan and strategically place yourself at the party, you will not be able to access excess foods and drinks!

Successfully navigating the party foods and drinks is much easier than you think. Make your first drink a club soda with a lemon or lime. No one will know that is it not gin or vodka, and you will be saving so many calories and also preventing a hangover or dehydration. Alternate each alcoholic drink with water and limit yourself to two or three drinks maximum.

Constantly move around the party and talk with others. This prevents you from having time to eat and talking with your mouth full. It also keeps you away from the food table. Being farther away from the foods and drinks prevents temptation and eating out of boredom or proximity.

There will come a time when you have to eat something. Whether attributed to hunger, an offering, or sheer depleted will power, there are some simple tactics. Never use a plate. Only grab what you can comfortably hold in your hand and with a napkin. Think smaller portions and appetizers. These smaller tastings will satisfy your curiosity and need without breaking the bank. If you need more, you can always return and use the same tactic.

If you truly need more than what your hands can carry, use a smaller plate and do not cover the entire plate. Leave space so that you are able to see the color of the plate easily, and there is not food covering every inch and piled high. Then step away from the table and do not return for at least 30 minutes. By that time your body will let you know if you really need any more food or drink.

By employing some of these simple options you can enjoy the holidays, remain social, and stick to your health goals. Now go out and enjoy yourself, within reason that is.

Kyle Washburn is the National Health and Fitness Editor at Edge Publications, Inc. He earned a BS in Physiology, M.Ed in Sport Psychology and Counseling and an MBA. He is a certified personal trainer through NASM and ACE and has been training for over ten years. He is an avid triathlete, softball and tennis player, runner, hiker and enjoys the outdoors.


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