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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Eat the Best, Leave the Rest: Holiday (& Everyday) Health Strategies

Holidays make most people tremble in fear of stepping on the scale.  While you may hear scary statistics of 10 pound weight gain from Thanksgiving to Christmas, the more accurate picture of the average holiday weight gain is 4 pounds from Halloween to New Years.

Here are 4 simple tips to keep your weight, health and overall happiness on track during the holiday season.  

1. Notice the title of this post is "EAT the best".  That means save your calories for chewing satisfying food by drinking water.  Make water your beverage of choice, at work, at home and when going out. There is no substitute for water! 

Let's revisit the title of "Eat the BEST".  Make what goes in your mouth count.  With huge quantities of cookies, candies, brownies, nibbles and any all other edible creations flooding your doorstep, your break room at work and often your own pantry, this is the time to be picky - very, very picky.  
2. Think of this: you work 9 to 5, make 5 to 9 work for you.  I'm talking produce here.  5-9 servings of delicious, nourishing, and visually gorgeous fruits and veggies.  That tops the list of best foods and should be a priority whether eating out or at home.

3. Love it or leave it.  If you don't love it that food, don't waste calories on it. This requires you to be a more mindful eater since if you aren't thoroughly enjoying that store-bought cookie, cease-and-desist, stop, drop and walk away.  For example, I dip chocolates to enjoy and share during the holiday season, and as a result, there is no reason for me to graze around on inferior sugar sources when I know that one bittersweet-dipped caramel will do the trick and leave me more satisfied.  Enjoy the traditional foods that you really look forward to, but don't bother with all the rest of the mediocre.  

4. Lastly, let's discuss the final phrase "Leave the Rest".  In this particular case, it has nothing to do with food.  Rather, I'm using the term "leave" to mean leave off, give up the "rest" - as in GET OFF THE COUCH!  Ahem.  Holidays, particularly in winter climes tend to keep us cooped up indoors on soft comfy couches where we could soon start to resemble their overstuffed shape if we don't leave that rest and get off your backside.  Whether it means donning snow boots and making snow angels, walking the dog, or even challenging your niece to a fierce battle of Just Dance, get up, move and leave the rest for bedtime.  

With these few simple tips - water, produce, pickiness and physical activity, you should be set to sail through the holidays healthier, happier and just a slim (if not slimmer) than you started.  

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