Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
Break Tradition: Be a Holiday Loser

by Joni Hyde

Tradition has it that the average woman will gain about seven pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. With a little advanced planning, a dash of determination and a sprinkle of self-discipline you can break tradition and lose weight this holiday season.

Convenience is the key during the holidays. With so many extra things on your to-do list, it's no wonder so many women use the old excuse, "I'll start exercising after the New Year." Realize that with the proper strategy you can fit exercise and healthy eating into the holiday season. When the New Year rolls around you'll be so glad that you did.

Here are a few new traditions to begin this holiday season.

1. Don't neglect yourself. Plan to exercise at least 30 minutes a day 5 days a week. Daily exercise will keep you in a good state of mind and will give you the extra boost of energy you'll need to complete all your holiday chores. Morning workouts are encouraged since too many curve balls can get in the way of your workout later in the day.

2. Save time and exercise at home, rather than at the gym. Add it up: 15 minutes extra primp time needed to go to the gym, and 15 minute drive time both ways. That's a 45-minute time savings that you can use toward shopping or cooking.

3. Stock up on healthy snacks. Fill up the frig and the cupboards with ready to eat cut up fruits and vegetables. If you leave holiday eating totally up to fate, goodies will almost inevitably win. 

4. Eat 5 or 6 mini meals throughout the day rather than 3 large meals. This will keep your metabolism revved up and will lessen the temptation to gorge yourself at meal time. 

5. Limit or avoid alcohol. Alcohol has as many calories per gram as fat, slows down your metabolism and stimulates your appetite. 

6. Celebrate a little. Allow yourself 2 or 3 free days during this holiday season… days when you can eat anything you'd like. Limit yourself to one serving of each item you choose, but do allow yourself special appetizers and deserts that are not on your normal day to day healthy eating plan.

7. If you do overeat, don't allow it to turn into a week- long event. Get right back on the health wagon and don't beat yourself up.