Friday, December 19, 2008

Beat the Holiday Bulge

A few quick and easy tips to stay lean at the most stressful, and sweet tooth tempting, time of year.

I don't expect anyone not to have their favorite breads, sweets, and drinks during the holiday season. This is a time to eat, drink, and be merry. But this isn't the time to over indulge and make yourself unhealthy or gain weight.

So my solution to this problem is, eat anything that you fancy, just way less than you have in the past. Think of your entire day as one dinner sized plate. Whatever you can fit on that plate, you eat. Now I don't mean fill the plate up two feet in the air. Be reasonable. And I'm also not including the big meal of the day. That's a different plate and I'll explain what I mean.

Plate #1-The Sweets Plate-Considering most cakes, pies, egg nog, dried fruit, and alcoholic beverages are loaded with sugar and calories, you can understand why I'm minimizing your servings. This plate should have 1-2 bites of everything you like. You can easily work off 1 plate of sweets for the entire day. Try to have your plate have more of the "healthier" junk foods like dried fruits, nuts, pretzels, and carob covered nuts or raisins. The more you fill your plate with these little munchies, that fill you faster, the less you'll have room for cakes, biscuits, and pie. Keep track of this plate and have it near you throughout the day. That way you wont be tempted to over snack.

Plate #2-The Dinner Plate-This plate should be broken up like a pie chart. 20% meat 20% starch and 60% vegetables. Since meats and starches are so filling, and compete for stomach acids to break down, it's best to limit them so you don't fill up so fast. Vegetables are the fiber and enzymes you need to break down the other foods so they should be eaten in the highest portion. That way you won't have that bloated gassy heavy feeling in your stomach and you might not even have to undo that top button on your trousers.

Make sure you keep moving throughout the day. If you live in nicer climates, go for a walk with your family and friends, or play a sport in the back yard. Even a friendly game of horseshoes will burn off some of those pesky calories. Laugh A LOT! It burns calories! For the people in colder snowier climates, a rowdy game of Charades or Twister will definitely get your heart pumping.

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season. And remember, drink responsibly.

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