2013-12-27 / Sports

Jen’s Fitness Forum

By Jen Font de Bon

It’s easy to pack on a few extra pounds during the holiday season, yet harder to shed them afterward. Follow the tips below to avoid unwanted weight gain and enter into the New Year feeling healthy and confident!

Start the day with exercise. People who work out in the morning are more active in their lifestyles and able to better control cravings.

Don’t put your exercise routine on the sideline this holiday season. If you’re traveling, use the opportunity to get into something new.

Try a class with the friends or family you’re visiting or explore the town by jogging outdoors. If company is coming to you, set aside some time each day for your own sanity– you’ll be glad you did.

Never arrive to a party hungry. Too many people starve themselves all day just so they can over-indulge later.

If you have an evening get-together, eat a sensible breakfast and lunch consisting of whole foods (fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein).

Since you’ll arrive to the gathering satisfied, it will be easier to resist stuffing your face with canapés the moment you walk in.

Take a walk around the buffet table before serving yourself. Knowing what there is ahead of time will help you make better decisions. If there are different sized plates, go with the smallest one.

Try to stick to simple foods and avoid anything doused in sauce. Take only what you really want and enjoy it in moderation.

After you finish your plate, wait at least twenty minutes before serving another.

It takes that long after eating for your stomach to realize it’s satisfied.

Remember that a holiday party isn’t all about the food. Enjoy company of friends and family, meet new people, get into conversation, and dance. Socializing while you eat and drink will help you pace yourself, just don’t hang out near the appetizer table.

Watch your alcohol intake. Not only do alcoholic beverages pack on the pounds, they also decrease willpower when it comes to cravings.

Always go with water for your first drink order. This will give you a chance to get settled and decide what you really want.

Then alternate every alcoholic or sugary beverage with water. If you want to jazz it up, go for club soda with a squeeze of lemon.

Also, don’t overdo it with diet soda. The sugar substitute and carbonation can lead to bloating and make you feel uncomfortable.

Encourage an after-dinner walk with family and friends. The activity and fresh air is good for digestion and the pause will give you better self-control when dessert rolls around.

When it comes to dessert, you can satisfy your sweet tooth without blowing your diet or making yourself feel sick.

Choose something that you’ll really enjoy and limit yourself to three bites. Avoid getting stuck with the leftovers. Many times this is where we can get into trouble.

If the party is at your house, have Tupperware on hand and send your guests home with food for the next day.

If it’s not in your fridge there will be no temptation.

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