Holiday feasting doesn't mean you have to plump up like a Thanksgiving turkey. Yes you can nosh on stuffing, chocolate and wine and still shed some poundage. Nutritionist Robert Ferguson, author of Diet-Free For Life, weighs in on how to lose weight during the holidays.
By Michelle Ruiz
1. Seat Yourself
Where you sit can make a big difference in how you eat at a holiday meal. Snag a VIP seat near the turkey (or protein of choice) and make it the first thing on your plate. If you sit at the end of the table near the mac and cheese, you'll load your plate with the carbs first!
2. Drink Up
Look at alcohol as either a component of a meal or as a snack. Substitute your usual snack of pretzels or an energy bar with wine or a shot of vodka.
3. Chomp on Chocolate
If you're cocktailing at a holiday party, don't snack on carbs like crackers or pretzels. Choose something high in fat like cheese or chocolate (seriously!) and you'll be more satiated, more likely to eat less and keep your body in fat-burning mode.
Related: How to Lose Belly Fat
4. Don't Skip Breakfast
Most people blow it at the holidays by not eating breakfast. They assume they're going to be eating big meals, so they skip. In fact, breakfast gets your metabolism going and keeps it going throughout the day.
5. Play With Protein
Build your Thanksgiving or holiday plate around protein. Fill your plate with mostly turkey or ham or chicken.
6. Count Carbs
You don't want to have more than one simple carbohydrate-like mashed potatoes or stuffing-on your plate at the same time. Think one "white decadent" at a time.
Related: What to Eat Before a Workout
7. Choose Dessert or Booze
Don't double up on dessert and booze, or your body will plunge into fat-storing mode. If you really want wine AND cake, don't drink the wine with the cake. Space them by a couple of hours.
8. Snack Away
Instead of eating one big feast, nibble in between meals and space your eating out over the course of the day. That will keep your body and your metabolism humming.
9. Drink A Lot of Water
Drink as much water as possible during the holidays. People tend to consume more processed food during the holidays, which means more sodium. If you drink water, you're less likely to hold water.
Related: The Real Reason You Have Insomnia
10. Take a Walk
Jump start your day with exercise first thing in the morning, even if it's just a little walk. It will boost your metabolism for the rest of the day.
11. Have Some Coffee
Start your holiday with coffee or tea. Studies have shown that waking up with caffeine helps you burn 85 more to 100 more calories that day.
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