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Page 2 - How do I stay fit during the holidays? - A few "Don'ts"

DON'T waste your time watching television.
Because you have so much to do, you need to have as much quality time as possible. For the most part, watching television is filler, not quality time. Spend time talking with friends and family, and going places with them. You won't find out anything new by sitting on the couch like a lump and being hypnotized by the latest reality TV show. No playing video games, either. If the kids are going to riot if they can't play their video games, then let them, but you've got more interesting (and more active) things to do.

(Article continued below.)

DON'T arrive for dinner in starvation mode.
Yes, those holiday meals are rich and calorie-laden, but don't skip breakfast and lunch to make room for them. If you show up at the family get-together ravenous, you'll be tempted to scarf down every high-calorie chip, dip and nut in the house before you even sit down to dinner. So eat lightly but frequently throughout the day. Just forego the starchy carbs - there will probably be enough of those at the dinner table.

DON'T stuff yourself at meals.
Perhaps this sounds like blasphemy, but you don't have to eat until you're sick at any holiday meal ever. In fact, you will actually enjoy your food more if you eat less. It's a fact - the tastiest bites of any dish are the first couple - after that your taste buds become accustomed to the flavor and it isn't special anymore. If you think the cook is going to pitch a fit if you don't pile your plate high, then load up on the skinniest vegetables first. Make half your plate veggies, add some meat or protein, then put little dollops of the starchier dishes on whatever space is left on the plate. Go very light on the gravy, or bypass it altogether. Skip the rolls unless they're something really special - and if they're that special, they should only require the merest touch of butter, right? And while those desserts look incredible, you really don't have to take a helping of every last one right after dinner - choose your favorite and take one of the other choices home to enjoy tomorrow.

DON'T leave your refrigerator full of leftovers.
If you're the one hosting the party, send everyone home with a plate of goodies. Bring any uneaten desserts in to the office for your coworkers. Let's face it, if you have a houseful of cookies, you'll probably eat them, so give them away.

DON'T eat every last cookie your coworkers bring to the office, either.
Offices can be really treacherous if you want to avoid gaining weight during the holidays - it seems like you're surrounded by cookies, brownies, leftover pies and gift baskets full of gourmet delicacies. If you can't eat just one or two treats, you may want to forego them altogether and go for a walk during your break instead.

DON'T go wild with the alcohol.
While the buzz feels nice, alcohol consists of completely empty calories. Stick to one or two glasses of wine or a bottle of beer. If you like the harder stuff, dilute it with a lot of seltzer water and ice. And avoid drinking on an empty stomach - you won't enjoy your dinner and you'll feel lousy the next day. Lastly, we probably don't need to remind you that drinking and driving is probably the unhealthiest holiday combo of all. Either skip the alcohol and be a designated driver, or find someone sober to drive.

Previous page >> How do I stay fit during the holidays? The "Do's" >> Page 1, 2

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