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Tips to Stay Fit Through the Holidays!

by Shawn LeBrun
Certified Personal Trainer

Well, it's that time of year again that most of us either love or dread (or a little of both).

The holiday season is upon us and although you may be more likely to pack on some pounds during this time of cold weather and bountiful food, with a little planning that does not have to be the case.

Below you will find some tips to assist you in making this coming holiday season productive in sticking with your fitness and fat-loss goals.

1. Have fun and enjoy yourself.

My first opinion is for you to not worry about what you eat at all. It is a special occasion which you do not do all the time, so just have fun and eat a little of everything and anything you want.

Life is meant to be enjoyed. Counting each and every calorie during this time is not too enjoyable.

It is only one day and one day will not ruin your progress if you are indeed motivated to stick with your fitness routine.

Also, eating whatever you want should make you feel a little guilty so that you are sure to be in the gym the next day.

I know this is not advice for everyone and that some will have to be more cautious of what and how they eat during the holidays, so I have included a few tips below for those that want to stay more strict.

2. Nibble on food throughout the day.

If you graze and snack on a little here and there all day, you will not build up that chance to be overly hungry.

Instead of eating one GIGANTIC meal which concludes with an unbuttoning of the top button of the pants to let your extended stomach go free, try having 2 or 3 smaller meals throughout the day.

Not to mention, eating small snacks/meals throughout the day is more beneficial for your metabolism.

Two or three hours before the "sit-down dinner, snack on some fruit, some carrot and celery sticks, or any other lower calorie foods. Then, when it is dinner time, you will not be incredibly hungry.

3. Skip the gravy, dressings, and high-calorie condiments.

If you are cautious about calories yet still want to enjoy all that the Thanksgiving feast has to offer, then skip the gravy and fatty dressings.

If the turkey is too dry without some type of sauce, use ketchup or a low-fat gravy.

Many times the dressings and condiments are worse culprits than the foods you put them on.

4. Eat more vegetables with your meal.

Instead of loading up the potatoes and stuffing, choose to have more vegetables instead with your turkey.

On a calorie basis, you are better of eating a larger serving of veggies than you are a starchy carb like potatoes, rice, stuffing, or bread.

5. Drink a lot of water throughout the day.

This will help with hunger throughout the day. Water is a great appetite suppressant and if you are constantly sipping all day, you will not find yourself starving.

Also, if you want to shave some calories off your daily total for the day, skip the soda or juice and instead have coffee, water, Crystal Lite, or Diet Soda.

These options have lower (some have none) calories than does juice or regular soda.

6. Go outside and be active

Sitting around the house all day watching T.V., smelling the food cooking will keep you salivating and your stomach growling.

Take a pre-dinner walk with the family or the dog. Go to the park, watch the kids play ball.

If you are really motivated, go for a jog/run before dinner or later in the evening.

Being active will not only help burn off more calories than sitting in front of the tube, it will also keep you from being in "eating" mode from the kitchen aromas.

7. Have a smaller dessert

Don't skip dessert, just moderate it. Have a smaller sliver of pie with a larger serving of Fat-Free Cool Whip or other non- dairy topping.

Sure fat-free topping is like eating air, but air has a lot less calories than that huge scoop of vanilla ice cream on your pie.

Again, my feeling is to enjoy yourself and eat a little of anything you want.

The holidays are not a time to feel deprived. They are meant to be happy times, spending time with friends and family.

If you are dedicated to being in shape, one day will not ruin your results.


Shawn Lebrun is a personal trainer and fitness coach and has been featured in numerous web-based and printed fitness publications. Visit http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com to sign up for the web's most informative fitness and fat-loss newsletter.

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