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How to keep your waistline trim this festive season

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Holiday time is when healthy habits fly out the window, especially eating and drinking. So how can you have fun, but not trash all the work you did over the year?

Most holidays are associated with certain foods, Keep the focus on fun, not food.

Eat frequently

Some people skip meals to ‘save’ space for huge lunches or dinners. To keep your blood sugar steady without overdoing it on calories, have a good breakfast and snacks throughout the day (such as a piece of whole-grain toast) so that when you meet up with family and friends for lunch or dinner, you’re not starving.

Choose only the most special holiday treats

Skip the chips and cookies at Christmas, but do save some calories in your ‘budget’ to enjoy special treats that are homemade and special to your family, such as your aunt’s pudding or best friend’s potato salad. Do you want to blow your calories on fatty, not-so-special dishes or on a very special, delicious memorable plate? Just don’t completely deprive yourself on festive days – your willpower will eventually snap, and you’ll end up overeating.

Keep moving during the holidays

When we leave our daily routines of getting up at a certain time or going to work, means that exercise can easily fall off our schedule and be at risk of losing the momentum of exercise and end up gaining weight. If you can keep you gym date, take a walk or run around the yard with the kids, it will keep you invigorated and allow you get back to your routine easier.

Forward Planning

The holiday can buzz can take over and before you get too busy with your shopping or seeing friends and family, think ahead by shopping for healthy, easy to use ingredients that you can use to make sandwiches or healthy sandwiches. Put aside some time to cook meals intended specifically for the freezer that you can pop into the oven or microwave and turn your attention instead to writing out holiday cards with a personal message in each.

Go light on dressings, gravy and sauces

You may not be able to control what’s being served at a holiday meal, but you can make each meal healthier by foregoing heavy sauces and gravy or spooning on just a small amount. If you’re having a salad, don’t overdo it with the dressing, because they can also be calorie-laden.

Watch those liquid calories

It may be time to celebrate, but that doesn’t mean that that you should chug down a glass every chance you get. Alcohol breaks down your inhibitions and decision making, and you may end up not resisting the junk foods that you would otherwise be able to pass up. Be sure to eat something before you have a drink so that the alcohol doesn’t land on an empty stomach and also have glasses of water between your drinks. Don’t be fooled by the size of the glass you are drinking with, alcohol contains a lot of calories – a small glass of wine has 89 calories, a shot of vodka has 55 calories and you can gulp down 170 calories in a pint of beer.