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H is for Holidays & Healthy Eating!

So, you have slaved throughout the year in the gym, stayed hydrated and managed to curb your cravings. But the end of the year also brings with it not just Parties galore, but also situations where even the most determined can get tempted and slide down that guilty route lined with greasy foods and alcohol. But not to worry, we have a few tips that will help you stay healthy and hearty this Holiday season:

1. Bring Your Own Food

Contribute a healthy dish to a gathering to ensure there’s something you can indulge in.

2. Munchies Away

Stand more than an arm's length away from munchies, like a bowl of chips, while you chat so you're not tempted to raise your hand to your mouth every few seconds.

3. Focus on Food

Focus on chewing your food well and enjoying the smell, taste, and texture of each item. Research shows that mealtime multitasking (whether at home or at a party) can make you pop mindless calories into your mouth. Of course, dinner-party conversation is only natural, but try to set your food down until you're finished chatting, so you are more aware of what you're taking in.

4. Pop a sugar-free mint in your mouth

When you’ve had enough (and don’t want to eat more), the feeling of a fresh palate can curb additional binging.

5. Use smaller plates and serving utensils

Try a salad or dessert plate for the main course and a teaspoon to serve yourself. What looks like a normal portion on a 12-inch plate can, in fact, be sinfully huge.

6. Pour them Tall not Large

Pour drinks into tall, skinny glasses, not the fat, wide kind.

7. Proof is in the Pitcher

Keep visual evidence around of what you’ve consumed so you don’t forget. Leave an empty bottle of wine or beer in view and you’ll be less tempted to drink more.

8. Wait for all the food to be on the table before making your selections

People who make their choices all at once eat about 14 percent less than do those who keep refilling when each plate is passed.

9. Choose your indulgences wisely

Instead of wasting calories on foods that you can have at any time of the year, pick items that are truly special and unique to the season, like your grandmother's candied yams or your daughter's first batch of Christmas cookies.

10. Do not skip meals

Again, this is a popular strategy for holiday eating. Skipping breakfast and lunch to "save" all your calories for dinner typically leads to overeating. Instead, have a balanced breakfast and enjoy a satisfying lunch the day of the event.

11. Break it up

If you don’t have time for your daily hour-long workout, do a few 10- or 15-minute spurts of exercise throughout the day. They can be just as effective at maintaining overall fitness as one continuous workout.

12. Last but not the least, Lose the Guilt

Healthy holiday eating can make people anxious but try not to get too worked up. This should be a time of celebration and relaxation. If you do happen to eat more than you planned during this holiday season, don't beat yourself up. More importantly, don't let a slip become a fall. If you do go overboard, don't get stuck in a food rut. Try to get back to your healthy eating habits as soon as you possibly can.

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