Surviving the holidays - more tips to cheat the weight gain

Here are a few quick tips for successfully cheating the holiday weight gain.

Food-laden table for traditional holiday meal

Calories Count -
Whether its a football game at friends, a holiday buffet or the big family party, you have to be calorie wise.  Take a few of your favorite foods and learn the calorie pitfalls. 
Avoid - trail mix.  Nuts, raisins and a little bit of chocolate doesn't seem so bad, but 1 cup (a little more than a handful) can be almost 700 calories.
Switch your chips to baked  - Kettle Brand Baked chips (my favorite is the Black pepper--Pepper is good for digestion too) is 22 chips for 120 calories
Skip the crackers with dips -  Use vegetables instead. If you really love your dips at least you are not adding 100 calorie crackers to the count.  You may even substitute Old London melba toast rounds.  They are flavored and have only 60 calories for 3 big tastes.

Push the Protein - When you start grazing, carbs alone with give you that sugar high and drop-- meaning you will be hungry for more.  AND your spirited beverages act as carbohydrates on the body and will also  give you that rush.  Therefore, to stabilize blood sugar and keep your tummy full, opt for protein bites.
Skip the bun - Eat the  tenderloin on mini sandwiches and chose cocktail shrimp when available. 

Shrimp are big - For under 200 calories you can eat 36 medium cocktail shrimp and even if you add the cocktail sauce at 15 calories a tablespoon, you'll still be on track.

Don't Deny Dessert - At this holiday time of year, it's even harder to skip the treats, so leave that to the other 10 months! But, beware and chose smart.
Half slice
- Cut the pie into a 1/3 or half slice to skim calories or add International Delights only 40 calorie creamers to your coffee to indulge in a little treat.
Fruit over cream - Remember fruit pies are lower in calories than cream, pumpkin and even pecan.  You can add those flavored creamers over berries too for a lighter dessert.

Chew Gum - For every party, keep a pack of gum in your purse.  Chewing gum helps freshen your breath, so you will be ready for kissing under the mistletoe.  And research shows that chewing gum can help reduce the craving for snacking. Choose sugar free to save another 10 calories.

Sleep over Exercise - It may be hard to chose, but try to get the minimum amount of sleep during the holidays - 6 hours.  If it's exercise or sleep, I recommend choosing sleep.  Sleep helps regulate the hormones leptin and gherlin that aid in maintaining your weight and regulating appetite. 

Exercise 10 minutes - Even a little exercise can go a long way, so if you can sneak in 20-30 minutes that can offset a few hundred calories.

Enjoy the holidays and remember to stand over sitting, better to give than receive and smile rather than frown- keep the wrinkles away!

Andrea Metcalf is author of Naked Fitness.  A free chapter is available at  Follow  @andreametcalf 

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