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Holiday Survival Tips

  1. If it's a potluck, bring your “friends” Always offer to bring your “friends”. Whenever possible, be the host. Your “friends” are your favorite healthy dishes. When you are the host, you can sneak in healthy favorites, cleverly disguised as holiday fare (roasted winter vegetables, rosemary-crusted leg of lamb, smashed sweet potatoes), and no one will be the wiser if you keep it quiet! (Be sure to let your health conscious friends in on the secret).
  2. Imagine yourself as Scarlett O’Hara Eat a small snack – 10 raw nuts, a hard-boiled egg, etc. before you go so that you can control yourself in front of tempting treats. It's hard to be rational when you are starving.
  3. Wear great lipstick and something snug around your waistline A holiday party is no place to be wearing an elastic waistband!
  4. No alcohol until after food If you are going to have an alcoholic drink save it for dessert so you won't be tempted to overindulge – you may find you don't even want it then! Have sparkling water with a slice of lime and fake it. Avoid any drink that has an umbrella in it, i.e. beware of the sugary mixers and the liqueurs.
  5. Have a serious bathroom chat If you feel like you are going to lose it, take yourself into the bathroom and regroup and recommit to your original goals. You can go back to the bathroom as many times as you need to!
  6. Engage an ally Have a friend keep an eye on you and gently remind you if you are going over the edge.
  7. Bust a move…bust a lot of moves. Keep active during the holiday season – this is NOT the time to blow off the gym, this is the time to get a couple extra sessions in and take advantage of dancing at all the holiday parties.
  8. Know your numbers Recognize what you are eating. A good rule of thumb is that most polite bites of the decadent fare are 100 calories each. You could easily eat your meal before you ever get to the table. My advice – forget the appetizers altogether and wait for dinner. If you are making a dinner of the appetizers, follow the 3-Bite Rule and pick and choose from the healthiest offerings (shrimp, chicken skewers, vegetable crudités, etc.). Never, ever eat while standing up! Keep a glass of sparkling water in your right hand & a napkin in your left so you can't grab anything.
  9. 3-Bite Rule If it is really, really worth it – allow yourself 3 POLITE bites of it. Pretend you are being filmed for a national TV show while you are having these bites, so make them dainty!
  10. Pick your shots and go “Big”. In a buffet situation, go with the healthy stuff first, and limit the decadent choices (see 3-Bite Rule above). If the decadent fare isn't worth it (and often times it looks better than it is!) think back to Tom Hanks in “Big” and get rid of it!
  11. Reward yourself Jewels, new cars, a fantastic wardrobe…okay, a bubble bath, a pedicure, a massage, whatever is a treat for you. Plan to reward yourself for sticking with your commitment.
  12. Everything counts That means that everything you eat counts and everything you do counts. The message here is that if you blow it with a meal, it doesn't mean that the day is shot, get yourself back together and recommit to healthy eating and sticking with your exercise program.
  13. Lucky 13. Write it down Research shows that people who write down what they eat during the holidays stick with their program and don't add on any holiday pounds.
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