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We all know how easy it is to overeat during the holiday season. So here are three key tips to remember while party-hopping: make healthier food choices, scale back on portion size, and schedule some time for exercise. Follow these easy nutrition guidelines, while enjoying goodies and food fare in moderation, and you can prevent weight-gain during the holidays.

HEALTHY FOOD OPTIONS

  • Search the buffet table for vegetables and go easy on the dip (unless it is fat-free).
  • Curb cravings for sweets by eating grapes. Many party platters provide bunches of  grapes, as well as other fruits like kiwi, honeydew, watermelon, and cantaloupe.

 

PORTION CONTROL

  • Become “size-wise”. As portions have grown, so have our waistlines.
  • Keep a serving of pasta to the size of a tennis ball (½ cup).
  • Avoid pancakes larger than the size of a CD.
  • Select a slice of whole-grain bread about the dimensions of your hand.
  • Limit your favorite sweet treat to one or two.
  • Choose a fruit pie with wheat crust over a layer cake with frosting and eat only ½ the slice.

 

EXERCISE

  • Get a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio, three times weekly.
  • When you’re at the mall, set aside 30 minutes before shopping begins for fast walking. Walk the entire inside perimeter without stopping.
  • Park at the end of the parking lot and walk the distance into the stores you visit.
  • Always use the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.
  • Take a family hike into the woods to cut down your Christmas tree, instead of picking one up in a parking lot.
  • Look for seasonal 5K races in your community (this can be the start of a new family tradition).

 

With a little awareness and pre-planning you will be well on your way to making this the healthiest Christmas yet!