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Avoid Packing On The Holiday Pounds

December 10, 2011 5:55 AM

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Thinkstock/Jupiter Images

Thinkstock/Jupiter Images

By Jason Zawodniak

Are you powerless to holiday pounds? With the holiday season already under way, I have a suggestion. As you slip into that little black dress to prep for the next Christmas bash, take a moment to decide what you’d like your “post holiday” body to look like. Will you be joining the masses that faithfully pack-on five pounds during this merry season? Or are you going to do something different this year?

Avoiding the holiday chub is entirely within your control. You don’t have to wake up in 2012 feeling flabby and defeated. You can go into the New Year focused on building a toned, tight and healthy new you. These simple tips have helped dozens of people who believed they were “stuck” — finally get past the mental barriers preventing them from succeeding during the holiday season.

woman salad cake Avoid Packing On The Holiday Pounds

(Photo credit: Thinkstock Image)

Don’t Get Your (sugary) Drink On!

Now here’s a tip that will help you all year long. Exchange 20 oz. of regular soda for water still or even sparkling. You know that soda is filled with tons of sugar, so why are you still sucking it back? Every time you crave an ice-cold cola picture yourself swallowing spoonful after spoonful of white sugar. Disgusting, right? That’s probably the easiest way to weight gain. Stick with water and kiss those extra calories goodbye. Diet sodas you say? Well, their use of sugar substitutes only serves to keep you craving sweets.

Drink plain coffee instead of a sweetened holiday coffee drink. (You Starbucks addicts know exactly what I’m talking about). Flavored coffee drinks are delicious but filled with way too much sugar. You can drop 250 calories (or more) in just one serving when you stick with plain coffee or tea.

Oh, and alcohol has tons of calories so go easy on the sauce.

thanksgivingdinner Avoid Packing On The Holiday Pounds

(Photo credit: Thinkstock Image)

Cravings Eating Away at You?

Now it’s not realistic to deny yourself of everything – what fun what that be? So portion control is key when you do decide to indulge in you favorite food. Truthfully, most of us consume enough calories for two people during the holiday season! So it’s wise to automatically cut your portions in half. For most folks this step alone can prevent the weight gain.

Just say NO to the holiday sweets. I know, I know easier said than done. A single slice of fruitcake may seem innocent enough, besides everyone is eating them at the office meeting, why shouldn’t you? This is the time to use creative visualization. You know the stash is loaded with fat and calories. Or, eat a piece of fruit instead of a cookie. Do you always go for something sweet after dinner? While your first instinct may be to reach for a slice of cake or a bowl of ice cream, why not consider what nature has to offer? Fruit is sweet, natural and lower in calories than traditional desserts. So instead of indulging on the tempting treat imagine hundreds of calories failing off your waistline (or booty if you’re so inclined) and smile to yourself. Grab an apple, then get up as soon as you can and take the long way to the copy machine.

manontreadmill Avoid Packing On The Holiday Pounds

(Photo credit: Thinkstock Image)

Shake a Leg

Keep moving! Walk. Walk. Walk. Pound that pavement everywhere and anywhere you can. Park far away from the toy store when you go shopping and take time out of your lunch hour or after dinner to stroll around the block. It may be mighty cold in Pittsburgh – but bundle up and keep moving and you’ll stay nice and toasty. Sure, walking alone will not shed the excess fat and tone your body BUT it will promote an active lifestyle that supports your fitness program.

womanstrengthtrain Avoid Packing On The Holiday Pounds

(Photo credit: Thinkstock Image)

Strengthen & Tone

Weight training is the key to your success but only after you take control of your nutrition. A 20-30 minute full body strength-training program will increase your metabolism. In addition, strength training is proven to be significantly more effective for weight loss and toning than many other forms of training including cardio. While these will work great for this holiday season the most important step now is to TAKE ACTION in your life to achieve your goals this year. Do something to stay or get slim and healthy. Taking action is the most important step, as well as the most rewarding.

Here’s a quick routine to get you started: The Busy Mom’s Express Home Workout

Jason Zawodniak is a Pittsburgh Personal Trainer owns a boot camp in Pittsburgh called Just For Her Boot Camps. For more information, please visit www.justforherbootcamps.com

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