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That time of year has arrived again during which it seems almost impossible to not pack on the pounds. Starting with Thanksgiving and ending with New Year's Eve, you will be constantly tempted to overeat and drink in celebration of the festive season. This eventually leads to a New Year's resolution to shed the weight, which you never stick to in the end.
Instead of allowing yourself to gain weight during the holiday and then struggle to take it off in the New Year, try avoiding the purge and nipping the weight gain in the bud right off the bat. Here are seven easy tips to follow that will help you to enjoy the holiday season without breaking the scale come January.
If you have an exercise routine, then stick to it. The holidays are a time for relaxation, but that's no reason to totally abandon your exercise regime. A half hour on the exercise bike is not hard to fit in, no matter what your holiday schedule is like. If you are not active, then the holiday season is a good time to start. Try taking 30-minute walks around your neighborhood every evening. It's great exercise and lets you check out everybody's holiday home decorations at the same time.
Slow down your eating
Did you know that it takes your body 20 minutes to a half hour to register that you have had enough to eat? That's how long it takes for the stomach to deliver this message to your brain. By eating at a slower pace, you will give your body time to let you know when you have had enough instead of overeating. A good way to slow down your eating habits is to count how many times you chew every morsel of food you eat. Try chewing your food at least 20 times before swallowing each bite.
Drink a lot of water
Drinking a lot of water is not only healthy, it also helps you to feel full as well. When you are drinking a lot of water, you crave food less. Eight glasses a day are already recommended, but drinking even more during the holidays certainly won't hurt you.
Set limits on sweets
Cookies, cakes, candy and other sweets are the most problematic foods during the holiday season, because there always seems to be some type of desert lying around and in reach. Enjoying these kinds of snacks are fine, as long as you limit yourself. Have one cookie a day, or half a slice of pie, instead of gorging. And if you really can't control yourself, move the treats to a different location where they are not tempting you all day and bring them back out only when you have company over.
Go easy on the drinks
Alcoholic beverages are not only bad because of all the empty calories, but it's also a fact that people overeat most when they are hungover or when intoxicated. If you make bad food decisions when under the influence, try to take it easy on the eggnog this year.
Snack before the party
If you are going to a party where you know you are going to be tempted to eat a lot, have a healthy snack at home before you attend. A nice turkey sandwich on rye bread should hold you over and help you to avoid overeating at the holiday soiree.
Have a short memory
Let's face it, you're going to end up overeating every now and then during the holiday season. Don't let it slow you down. Make sure you go back to your healthier lifestyle the next day and keep trying to stay on track even when you break the rules.
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