AvHoliday Weight Gain(132855)Credit: morguefile.comoiding the Christmas weight gain, is a challenge. Some people refer to it as the "holiday 10 pounds" and accept it as a "given" for the holidays, others just don't seem to care until January!.

Then come the New Year, they get on that New Years Resolution band wagon and run to join the nearest gym, which then tends to fizzle out by February, and don't use the gym again for the rest of the year!

Does this sound familiar? Why not change it up this year. Lets try and avoid gaining the "holiday 10 pounds" this year. There are a few simple tricks that can help.

Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

1. If you love to bake cookies, and goodies at Christmas time, and tend to "taste test" the product. Here is a way NOT to do this. Either, give the job to someone else. (I have a friend that will bake all day, and NOT touch the cookies, she doesn't even like sweets but loves to bake.. that is not me!) Pop a piece of sugarless gum or rinse your mouth with mouthwash before you start baking. The gum works best for me, as you are not likely to taste test anything while chewing a piece of gum.

This can be a big help when it comes to any cooking or baking in the kitchen. If you pick and poke at food while you are baking or cooking, you could easily end up eating 4 or 5 cookies equivalent. You just don't realize how many calories and fat you are taking in, when you don't watch what you are doing.

2. Mall walking. Around this time of year, the weather can start to turn, and if you were a walker outside, this may start to put you off, as well as the fact your evenings are getting fuller with Christmas shopping, parties, and more. It is getting darker earlier, and a walk here and a walk there are no longer happening.

So, add this to the cookie dough picking, and the "not so many walks" will contribute to the Christmas weight gain.

The best way to stay on top of this, is first of all be aware that your exercise is dwindling, and park the furthest away in the parking lot, and if you are shopping at a big mall, walk the whole mall a few times before you actually stop in any store. Consider this "window shopping" and your workout at the same time. Make sure and wear comfortable walking shoes, and layers you can peel off. Try to keep up a good pace, so that you are just a bit breathless, like you are late for work or something. If you are going fast enough to burn calories, you should not be able to have a conversation with anyone.. But try not to run any other shoppers over!

Some malls offer before and after hours walking times. Many seniors take advantage of this, but more and more people of all ages are taking advantage of this. It is a way to get some exercise in a warm environment.

If you don't have a mall, but you have a Walmart or a Home Depot, walk up and down each aisle to the other end of the store, and then do it back again.

Treat yourself to a pedometer, and track your steps as you walk. You will be amazed how many steps you can get in just going up and down the aisles of some of these big box stores. The good news, is you can get some gift ideas while you are doing this. But do be careful of shoppers lingering around in front of you.Holiday Weight Gain(132854)Credit: morguefile.com

Some local skating/hockey arenas have a walking area up above, just for this purpose. To get exercise in those cold months. If you have kids in hockey, this could be a great time to exercise and still watch their game.

Personally I prefer the malls or the stores, as there are lots of windows to look at, and dress sizes to keep you motivated!

3. To avoid Christmas weight gain at those office parties, make sure you have a good sized healthy snack before you go. This will get rid of the munchies, and hopefully help you curb uncontrolled snacking from hunger.

In fact stay away from the snack table, mingle with friends to get your mind off of those chips, peanuts and dip. If you must drink alcohol, water it down a bit. Have a wine spritzer, half wine with soda water. Or don't drink alcohol at the office party at all. Not only will it add empty calories to your hips, you may just say a few things you don't mean. Everything from the office Christmas party gets remembered in the New Year!Holiday Weight Gain(132857)Credit: morguefile.com

But you don't want to cut out all the fun. Pick a particular party that you want to let lose at, and keep it to that party. All others, you must be good. This way you still have a party to look forward to without feeling guilty.

If you try and work with these 3 points above, you are going to keep off that Christmas weight gain. Who knows, if you have a lot of shopping to do, all that walking may just have you dropping a few pounds before the holidays even get started! That would be a great bonus. Plus you are going to feel good, and energized.

Make sure you get plenty of sleep, and not too many late nights, because if you go to bed late and have to keep getting up early with all the seasons festivities, your body will start to crave goodies for energy. You will not be able to fight off these cravings. So, make sure and keep up your sleep schedule. You can keep those nasty "holiday 10 pounds" away this year, and then in January, you can watch all your friends, struggling with the zippers on their jeans, and the rice cake and carrot stick diets that they are all going to start in the New Year. But you can smile, because you have avoided the Christmas weight gain this year!

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