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I want to help you avoid the holiday weight gain with five tips. After getting back on my health kick due to my high blood pressure scare and the holidays coming up, I know I have to control my diet. The disappointment of how I ate for Thanksgiving prompted me to come up with my Christmas meal plan! Check out five ways to avoid holiday weight.

1. Exercise Outdoors

Get yourself some cute workout gear and take it out for a spin! Whether it’s running, cycling, or oh-so-festive ice skating (which burns 450 calories an hour and tones your butt and thighs by the way), being active in nature is simply more fun than battling crowds at the gym.

2. Stock Up On Superfoods

It’s true that some foods can actually help you lose weight, not to mention reduce your risk of disease. The greatest part is that many superfoods are also holiday staples, so you probably have some on your menu already!

  • Keep passing those sweet potatoes. The orange-colored spuds contain lots of fiber, which makes you feel fuller for longer.
  • Kale is not only the trendiest leafy green out there right now, but it’s also the most nutritious. Serve it at your holiday dinners and friends and family will be thankful for the new tradition.
  • Apples are superstars, so if you find some in, say, a pie, at least you know you’re getting some health benefits out of it!

3. Lighten Up Seasonal Favorites

Perhaps the easiest swap of all when it comes to mac and cheese though is the cheese. Try Parmesan instead of American, for example — since the flavor is stronger, you’ll be able to use less and be just as satisfied.

4. Have An Eating Plan

All those choices at the table aren’t a bad thing though. If you love grandma’s cookies, you can have them! To make sure you don’t overdo it by the end of the day, be prepared:

  • Eat breakfast in the morning to get your metabolism going.
  • Exercise before the feast. It will influence the way you feel (and the way you think) about food.
  • Play with your plate: Pick and choose which proteins and carbs you reallywant.
  • Wait 20 minutes before grabbing seconds to see if you’re really still hungry.
  • Don’t drink too many calories. Water is best, but a glass of red wine is good for your heart. If you’re more into the hard stuff, mix your liquor of choice with sparkling water and lime instead of tonic or soda.

5. Nix Stress

From parties galore to gift-giving and family reunions, there’s no doubt this busy time of year can be super stressful — and take a physical toll on us. Stressing makes cortisol levels rise, which forces your body to hold onto fat. In turn, hunger hormone levels rise, and then we end up doing things like “eating our feelings.” Follow these steps to fight the stress of the season:

  • Have a financial plan. Factor in presents and going out on the town to celebrate.
  • Ready yourself with answers to all those awkward questions about work, your love life and anything that could be uncomfortable.
  • Remember to rest. Getting a solid night’s sleep is crucial. You’ll combat stress and make better food choices after catching enough Zzs, too.

Source: Huffington Post

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