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Preventing Holiday Weight Gain

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Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s the average person gains 5-10 lbs. If this has happened to you in the past and you want to prevent it from happening to you this year, I suggest that you give yourself a goal right now of no holiday weight gain.

Once you have your goal – then all you need is a plan. The plan that I will outline is surprisingly simple and doesn’t require superhuman effort and is 100% fool proof! Are you ready? OK – let’s go!

  1. Weigh yourself. You need to know this number. What ever the number is you need a reference point. So, be a grown-up and weigh yourself. It probably isn’t as bad as you think. Throughout the holiday weigh yourself first thing in the morning, daily. If you see a weight gain, address it right away by increasing your exercise and eating just a little less. Trust me, this works.
  2. Exercise daily. Schedule this into your calendar. It can be as simple as hopping on the treadmill or brisk walking or an aerobics class. But you must do something. Exercise elevates metabolism beyond the duration of the exercise activity. If you jog for 45 minutes at 7 am, your metabolism will stay elevated for an additional 2 hours! And exercise will reduce your holiday stress level.
  3. Don’t skip any meals. This is an incredibly busy time of year and your body needs fuel to accomplish all that you have to do. Keep your meals about 4 hours apart and include an afternoon snack. By taking time for meals you can resist temptation. If you are on the go, take your snack along with you. Be sure it contains some protein because protein helps you to feel satisfied. Suggestions for portable snacks are: apple or pear with 2 Bon Bel Light cheeses, Total Greek yogurt or Stoneyfield Farm plain, fat free yogurt with 2 clementines, or 1 handful almonds with an orange, or 1 omega-3 hard boiled egg with crudités, or 1 apple and cottage cheese.
  4. Stay away from the bread basket. Maybe you didn’t realize it but those inviting, warm dinner rolls have over 200 calories apiece – before you add the butter. Unless it contains fiber, bread has little benefit to the body. Let’s do the math: 2 rolls (400 calories) + 2 pats butter (100) = 500 calories! Wow! And that is before you have dinner.
  5. Start your day with protein – it will keep you satisfied longer. I suggest omega-3 eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, or smoked salmon to begin the day.

The holidays in New England are magical. This wonderful time of the year with family and friends is to be savored and enjoyed. Attend the parties, shop for gifts, bake for your family, trim the tree – have a fabulous time! You can enjoy it all without gaining weight!

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