Survive the Holidays

Holiday parties make it hard to stay on track with your diet, since they’re not usually the best place to find healthy food! To avoid gaining extra weight over the holidays, and feeling horrible for the New Year, just remember these simple tips and no matter what, feel proud of your accomplishments for 2009!

Holiday Party Tips:
· Don’t go to a holiday cocktail party really hungry! Eat a healthy meal beforehand so that you are less likely to overindulge indulge on the hors d’oeuvres.
· Keep a food log – as silly as this may sound if you see on paper what you’ve been eating you’re less likely to overindulge multiple times.
· Make it a point to burn extra calories throughout the day. Bundle up and walk to work instead of taking the car or bus, and always take the stairs instead of the elevator.
· Push yourself a little harder at the gym and make sure you aren’t just doing cardio, but also some strength training. Remember that strength training increases lean muscles mass and therefore your metabolism.
· Bargain with yourself: If you eat healthy all week then you can allow yourself to indulge in moderation on the weekend.
· Keep alcohol intake to a minimum. I know, this is a hard one, but your body sees alcohol as a toxin so it needs to get rid of that before it can effectively begin to burn excess fat and calories. Drinks like rum and eggnog, fruity martinis and blended drinks are extremely high in sugar and calorie dense. There are 7 calories per gram of alcohol, that’s before the added calories in the mix! No one has just one drink, so you do the math!

Healthier options at the snack table:
· lean protein (such as chicken, beef or shrimp skewers)
· corn tortilla chips and salsa
· plain unsalted nuts
· vegetables with hummus
· olives
· cheese (in moderation)
· fruits

· anything wrapped in pastry
· creamy dips
· deep fried wings
· caramelized nuts
· chips
· too much cheese
· cookies and decadent deserts

But remember: don’t be so hard on yourself! If you indulge a little too much on one day, it’s not the end of the world. Tomorrow is a new day for a healthy start. Enjoy the holidays!

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Image courtesy of Mr. Jorgen.

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