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Holidays Challenge: Keep Off Those Extra Calories

Thanksgiving started off the holiday season that will end on New Year's Day. During this time of the year, most people struggle with their diet, especially with all the tempting holiday goodies that are being served left and right. It is expected that most of us are going to overeat during these holidays, but experts advise Americans not to throw good habits out the window during the holidays. For some people, it's like a bleep on the screen. Holidays should not serve as a green light to a six-week indulgence that precedes and necessitates the trip back to the gym on the second day of the new year. For people who have problems with obesity, this can be a very difficult time as it can really throw them off target.

Studies have shown that seasonal weight gain during the holidays is a slippery slope. One can easily add up ten pounds during the season. While three ounces of white turkey meat has only 130 calories, a serving of sweet potato casserole can give you as much as 330 calories. Stuffing has approximately 107 calories, a slice of pumpkin pie has more than 300, and a piece of pecan pie has 500 calories. Dietitians recommend that instead of drinking alcohol and other high-caloric drinks, try to enjoy eating pies and turkey with lots of water.

Help yourself with a reasonable portion of meat, vegetables without the high-calorie sauces, and a few small bites of desserts. Eat slowly. But don't get stuck in guilt if you've eaten too much. Feeling guilty only makes things worse. It may lead you to totally abandon your diet and make haphazard decisions to resume weight loss plans in January next year. Walking around the block can help you lose those added calories. It would take 27 minutes of walking to burn the 97 calories in an 8-ounce serving of cola. A really fast mile would burn 125 calories. But it's not enough to cover the 2,000 to 3,000 calories in an average Thanksgiving meals alone. And we still have Christmas and New Years Eve parties to go.

Have a plan of action by visualizing the meal beforehand. Decide ahead of time what food to eat and what to avoid. Eating while sitting is advised to make you feel fuller rather than standing which easily keeps the food down. Eat from a plate to keep things in proportion rather than off a tray, which makes you lose track of how much you already had. You don't really have to deprive yourself of all those holiday goodies. Simply practice moderation. When you get offtrack, returning to an exercise regimen and having the right eating portions can help you get back on the road to a healthier diet and holiday spree. A pound you gain and can't remove is a pound for life. Extra pounds that come from extra calories are not easy to melt away. So, have keep that plan of action to avoid getting those excess pounds during the holidays.

Carefully choose what food to eat. Eat leisurely, and savor those holiday goodness.


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