Party Hearty, Then Ease It Down

Some tips for holiday weight control

MONDAY, Dec. 26, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- All that delicious holiday food can spell trouble for your waistline.

So if you overindulge, here's how to avoid a holiday "weight hangover," courtesy of the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center:

  • Snack on raw vegetables while cooking.
  • Drink a tall glass of water before you eat.
  • Try to fill half your plate with vegetables, and go easy on the sauces and dressings.
  • Drink cider or non-caloric beverages instead of eggnog.
  • Use fat-free sour cream and cream cheese when making dips.
  • Use whipped butter or low-calorie tub margarines.
  • Instead of butter, use chicken stock when making gravies and stuffing.
  • Eat the pie filling but leave the crust.
  • Snack on raw vegetables instead of tortilla chips with dips.
  • You can eat your favorite foods, but limit portion sizes. A smaller plate will help control portions.
  • Eat a light snack to curb your appetite before you go to a party.
  • Talk more, eat less and stand away from the buffet table.

Getting enough exercise can also help control holiday weight gain:

  • Park far away from the shopping mall, so you have a longer walk.
  • When you have time, enjoy winter activities such as taking the children sledding.
  • Wear a pedometer to monitor your walking. You should aim for 7,000 or more steps a day.
  • Even though the holidays can be a busy time, try to maintain your regular exercise schedule.
  • Dance at holiday parties.
  • Shovel the sidewalk in front of your neighbor's house.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about weight control.

SOURCE: University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, news release, December 2005
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