Have a Happy, Healthy Christmas

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Holiday gatherings, seasonal treats, and celebratory menus can wreak havoc a healthy nutrition regimen for even the most dedicated dieter. Last week we listed several pointers to avoid stress while preparing for your celebrations. Finally, it’s time enjoy the holiday! Remember, one meal or one day of celebration is not going to doom you to obesity when if you ‘fall off the wagon’ when you eat healthy foods and exercise the rest of the year. Allow yourself enough latitude to enjoy the day and get back to work the next day with these helpful hints.
 
• Eat breakfast! Skipping breakfast sets you up for overeating later in the day!
 
• Plan. If you’ve reached your tipping point and have decided to lose, target for a 1 pound loss during the next week. Reduce your daily calorie intake by 200 to 300 calories and burn off 200 to 300 calories a day for a weekly deficit of 3,500 calorie. Add an extra day to your exercise routine. Don’t have routine? Walk for fifteen minutes a day!
 
• Start a food diary. Research proves that keeping a food diary is a valuable weight loss technique. Start again to track what you’re eating and how much, it’s a real eye-opener!
 
• Control snacking. Drink a glass of water instead of reaching for the left over Christmas cookies, then wait about 10 minutes to see if you are really hungry. Thirst can be mistaken for hunger, if you’re still hungry, have a small, healthy snack.
 
• Don’t skip meals. Research has shown that eating regular meals or snacks every 3 to 4 hours can keep you from overeating.
 
• Stay active. If you didn’t get any exercise today, relieve that belly bloat by going for a 10-minute walk after eating.
 
• Get enough sleep. Research shows there are links between inadequate sleep and obesity. A study from Case Western Reserve University of about 68,000 middle-age women found that those who slept 5 or fewer hours were 32% more likely to experience major weight gain, and 15% more likely to become obese, than those who slept an average of 7 hours.
 
• Eat slowly to make your meal last longer. Research shows the more chewing you do, the more nutrients your body absorbs. It takes 20 minutes for the body to register that it’s satisfied, slower eating will cut down on the second helpings!
 
Leave the guilt behind. It will only get in your way, and make it harder to get back on track!
 
Happy Holidays to you and all your loved ones!
 
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