Party Hearty, Then Ease It Down

Some tips for holiday weight control

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

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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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