6 tips for surviving the season of indulgence

Source: Chickabug

Now is the time.

Don't wake up January 1st feeling fat, lethargic, hung over, and wondering where your waistline went over the last month.

Plan now, and you can ring in the New Year feeling ready to tackle whatever it has in store.

Here are a few tips to get you through the season of indulgence:

  1. Get your sleep.  Who wants to sleep when there are parties to plan and attend, holiday meals to make, and gifts to buy?  As tempting as it may be, don't scale back on sleep this month.  Research shows sleep is an important component of a healthy lifestyle.  People who sleep well, eat less.  In fact, sleep deprived individuals eat 300 more calories per day than those who get adequate rest, according to a study conducted at New York Obesity Research Center.
  2. Eat a snack.  Going to a cocktail party ravenous isn't a good move, because you'll end up overeating and making poor food choices.  Eat a high-fiber, low-calorie snack like an apple or small salad before attending a big holiday party.  According to research conducted at Pennsylvania State University, this could cut your total calorie intake for the evening by 15%
  3. Choose a small plate.  We tend to eat what's on our plate, whether we are hungry or not.  When you fill your plate at a buffet or cocktail party, choose a small plate.  After filling it, find a place to sit down to eat, enjoying each bite.
  4. Stay hydrated.  People who are well hydrated tend to consume fewer calories.  Why?  Water fills up the stomach, making you feel full.  In fact, people who drink water before meals eat up to 13% less food at meal times, according to Researchers from the University of Virginia.  Keep a big glass of water at your desk throughout the day and sip on it.
  5. Don't deprive yourself.  The holidays bring with them all kinds of wonderful treats we see only once a year.  Plan to indulge in Grandma's double chocolate chip cookies, because people who never satisfy cravings binge later.  The key, of course, is to be careful of portion control.  Eat one cookie and enjoy.  Save the second for another day. 
  6. Exercise.  I know.  You are busy.  Think out of the box when it comes to exercise this month.  Go sledding.  Walk during your lunch break.  Treat yourself to a session with a personal trainer.  Take your kids skating.  Rake leaves.
The season is upon us!  Take a few moments to think through your holiday survival strategy, then enjoy.  Every minute.  

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