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5 tips to maintain healthy eating habits during the holidays

Now that Halloween is over and all the candy has been eaten, grocery stores and department stores are already filling up with the upcoming holiday temptations. Whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, a large part of the celebration will likely center around fatty foods and drinks. Even the healthiest of eaters are likely to give up their good habits for another plate of turkey with gravy and an extra slice of pie.

If you’re determined to stick to a healthy diet this holiday season, there are ways you can stick with your weight loss program without feeling left out. There’s nothing worse than missing out on your favorite holiday treats. After all, they only come once a year, right? Instead of losing yourself, just change the way you approach temptations. That’s how…

Healthy Habit Maintenance Tip #1: Use a Smaller Plate

Sometimes it’s not what’s on a person’s plate that makes them gain weight, but the large portion that is given. One tradition you can do without is gorging yourself until your belt buckle pops. Portion control is key to losing weight, no matter what time of year you set healthy eating goals.

Instead of giving up your favorite holiday foods, just use a smaller plate and eat less. Wait at least two hours before taking a few seconds again, and in the meantime, drink a few cups of hot herbal tea to help you feel full. Losing weight does not have to be the task that most people aim for.

Healthy Habit Maintenance Tip #2: Modified Recipes

If you are the person in your family who is cooking everything, you have the upper hand. Using low-fat ingredients like egg substitute, applesauce instead of oil, low-fat cheeses, and nonfat sour cream will go virtually unnoticed by you and your guests. The more colorful you can make your plate with fruits and vegetables, the healthier you will eat.

Just because your grandmother used to drown everything in greasy butter and sauce doesn’t mean it’s a tradition you should carry on. She just remembers not to snack all day while you cook and then eat a big meal. Many times it is the cooks who get fatter than the customers because they don’t realize that their fingers are constantly grabbing samples.

Healthy Habit Maintenance Tip #3: Eat Before You Go

Don’t show up to parties on an empty stomach unless you want to end up overeating. Many times when you attend a party, the food is different from what you normally eat and you will be tempted to try everything new you see. Going to a Christmas party on an empty stomach is like letting a kid loose in a candy store.

Drink a healthy protein shake before you go, or a nice big glass of ice water. There’s nothing wrong with trying new things, but making sure your tank is half full before you go will allow you to make decisions based on your stomach and not your eyes. You’ll probably want to try that 5 Cheese Dip and Dip, but you won’t want to eat half the bowl.

Healthy Habit Maintenance Tip #4: Stay Active

One of the key components to good health is exercise. We all know this and it’s more important during the holidays than any other time of the year. Most people promise to join a gym after the holidays, but the problem is how they live during the holidays. They eat more than usual and when judgment day arrives, they have their work cut out for them.

You can find ways to move more without hitting the gym before it’s time for New Year’s Resolution. Offer to do the dishes after Thanksgiving instead of flopping into a recliner in front of the TV. Grab a long-lost relative at a party and walk around the block. The more you move, the more calories you will burn.

Healthy Habit Maintenance Tip #5: Forgive yourself

If you give in to temptation, forgive yourself and get back on track the next day. An afternoon of excesses will not destroy all the previous days in which you maintained his healthy habits. However, vacations are often more than one day, so make sure you’re not in the habit of spending every night at a different party stuffing yourself with junk food.

The key to losing weight and maintaining an ideal weight is to lead a healthy lifestyle. This means you are making healthy choices about what you eat and staying active with daily exercise. It also means that you shouldn’t give up the things you love just because you’re afraid of gaining a pound. Tomorrow is always a new day, but the decisions you make the night before can determine what your new day will look like.

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