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Surviving the Holidays without the Weight Gain!

Substitute where you can. Cook up good taste with fewer calories this year with smart substitutions. Use fruit purées or yogurt in place of butter or other spreads. In holiday recipes, two egg whites can take the place of one whole egg. Cooking with cheese? Use a reduced-fat brand -- you won’t even miss the calories.

Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals in preparation for holiday gatherings will leave you famished and craving high sugar, high fat foods – the perfect set-up for gorging on all those party foods. Try eating a little protein and fiber beforehand to help you remain in a mindful place once at the party. A sandwich, egg and toast or yogurt with fruit will do the trick. Also, make sure not to go long periods (i.e. over 5 hours without eating).

Be selective. Once the celebrations begin, be picky. Ask yourself what you want most – eat that. If you want it, eat it! By giving yourself permission to eat, you will be able to give yourself permission to stop.

Balance your plate. Balance the high calorically dense foods out with lighter items such as vegetables and fruits. Add a little protein and fiber by opting for shrimp, whole-grain crackers, cheeses, a meatball, deli meat and fruit before reaching for your favorite desserts.

Walk away. Once you’ve served yourself a plate, walk away from the food and talk with friends. You’ll not only enjoy socializing, you’ll be able to naturally pace your eating too.

Hydrate. Enjoy nonalcoholic drinks between alcoholic beverages. You’ll stay hydrated and still be part of the holiday fun.

Food for Fun. Celebrate with more than food during the holidays. Get everyone active indoors with a game of charades or dancing (maybe pull out the Wii). You can even grab friends and family and take a walk. Enjoy outdoor winter activities like skiing, snow shoeing and sledding, or access your inner kid and go sledding or build a snowman!

No snow? How about a game of soccer or whiffle ball?

Move. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean your

exercise routine is! Even if you can’t get to your gym, you can still make exercise a priority. Aim for at least 30 minutes most days by walking, jogging up hotel stairs, or renting a bike. Just move!

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