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Your holiday eating survival guide
The holidays are officially here which means parties, get-togethers, eating and lots of running around. On average a person gains 7-8 pounds during this time. Edward Health & Fitness Centers' Mary Bielawski shares a few tips to help you keep your weight in check.

PLAN AHEAD – At the start of the week plan your grocery list, organize dinners for the week ahead, think of healthy snacks to keep on hand, and figure out your workout schedule. Once you develop a PLAN, stick to it. Trying to “wing it” and come up with excuses NOT to get to the gym, or pick up fast food on the way home from work won’t help you keep on track.

EAT BEFORE YOU LEAVE – if you will be attending a party where there will be plenty of food and drinks, eat something small before going. That way you won’t be showing up on an empty stomach and making bad choices. Eat some fruit, vegetables, nuts, or yogurt before you head out the door.

STEP AWAY FROM THE TABLE - Most likely holiday get-togethers involve some sort of food or hors d'Oeuvres table. Once you load up a plate (sticking to reasonable food portions!) walk away from the food table, and eat your food... slowly.

EAT SLOW - The slower you eat, the less you'll eat. It takes your brain 15 minutes to register when your stomach is full. A slow eater will eat less food, which in return means fewer calories. Take your time when you eat, chew, and enjoy the tastes.

DRINK UP - Drink plenty of water throughout the day and especially during a feast. And in particular if you plan on drinking any alcoholic beverages. Water will help keep you hydrated and counter balance the effects of consuming access sodium.

SIGN UP FOR PERSONAL TRAINING OR A FITNESS CLASS - This will help you stay on track of your fitness goals and hold you accountable when you are trying to juggle many obligations.

THE 3 BITE RULE - Everyone is allowed to have fun during the holidays. If you want to go for that cheesecake or Grandma's pumpkin pie, allow yourself just 3 bites. That way you won’t feel like you’re depriving yourself. Take 3 (reasonable!) bites, chew slowly, and enjoy!

SNEAK IN MORE VEGETABLES - If you're preparing a meal add more vegetables into each coarse. Making mashed potatoes? Combine half parts potatoes and half cauliflower to cut back on calories. Puree steamed vegetables can be added into almost any dish. Making macaroni and cheese? Add some pureed butternut squash. And no one will ever tell the difference!

The holidays can be a hectic season and it's especially hard to find time for yourself and take care of your health. Remember to eat right and stay on track of your fitness!


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801 S. Washington, Naperville, IL 60540 • (630) 527-3000

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