- Exercise: Start your day off with a vigorous workout to get your metabolism fired up and burn some calories. Make sure to do both cardio and weights to really crank up the calorie and fat burning machine. Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of weights. Don’t forget to hydrate with plenty of water.
- Make a healthy dish to bring: If you are the guest at a holiday party, offer to bring at least one dish. That way you know there’s something nutritious and delicious for you to eat. Make a salad, soup, or oven-roasted vegetables so you have plenty of veggies to fill you up. If your host suggests an appetizer, how about a tray of sliced cucumbers topped with a dollop of hummus and a piece of roasted red bell pepper.
- Don’t go to the party hungry: The worst thing you can do is to leave the house hungry – an invitation for overeating. Right before you leave, have an apple (or other fruit) and some kind of protein (greek yogurt, string cheese, or almonds). This combination of produce and protein will curb your appetite for hours and prevent you from diving head first into the spinach-artichoke dip.
- Survey the food before you dig in: It’s always a good idea to get the lay of the land before you start loading up your plate. Check out what’s being offered and then decide what you will choose to eat. If it’s something really decadent and you absolutely insist on having some, then just take a small spoonful and savor the taste experience. One bite is all your brain really needs to feel satisfied.
- Limit liquid calories: Alcohol, soda, and juice – this can add up to lots of calories and can actually make you eat more. Save the calories for the food and stick to water, iced tea, and sparkling water.
- Make half the plate veggies: First fill your plate with plenty of vegetables and then add some protein (fish, chicken, beans). Leave a little room for those heavy side dishes that you just can’t pass up, but remember – one bite is all you need to satisfy a craving.
- Try the one-bite rule: When it comes to dessert, it’s hard to resist. If there is more than one thing that catches your eye, try the one-bite rule – one bite (not a King Kong size bite) of 3-4 different things, which ends up being the equivalent of one whole dessert. That way you don’t feel deprived nor have you gone overboard.
- Play it off: In the winter, a post-meal walk is probably out of the question. Why not challenge your family and friends to a friendly game of Wii Sports or Dance, Dance Revolution (or equivalent on another gaming console). Have fun and burn calories!
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