Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


November 14, 2012

Fitness column: Talking turkey about holiday weight gain

Question: Do you have any tips on eating right and exercising during the holidays?

Robyn Lebowitz, Y personal training coordinator

Dawn Lovejoy, Y chronic disease prevention program coordinator

Go into the holidays and holiday parties with a plan. Rather than tell yourself that you're "not going to eat XYZ" make a plan to enjoy a piece of Grandma's pie, but make sure you have plenty of other, healthier options too.

If you bring a dish, bring fruit or cut up vegetables. It can create options when your choices may be limited. A specific plan will make it easier. And there are no BAD choices, some are healthier and some are less so.

Forgive yourself if you get off track and try not to get weighed down (pun intended) by guilt. Move on and continue to follow the plan you had created.

As for exercising, plan that as well. Write it down, use an app for your phone or Ipad and keep track of it just as you would anything else. Try not to think about whether you want to do it, look at the planner and give yourself that time. If you can't stand exercising, make time for a walk. If you're concerned that that won't work, get a friend to be your fitness buddy. Then, enjoy each other's company. It's supposed to be fun!

Reward yourself (not with food!) if you exercise four times a week. And, if you slip, begin again. Better to start over again and again then to quit completely.

Scott Topjian, fitness director

Latitude Sports Clubs, 10 Main St.

When you arrive to the party, scope out the entire food scene and make your choices. Select the healthier options like veggies and dip, tortila chips and salsa or the fruit platter before you start munching on the cheese and crackers, potato chips or any fried or battered appetizers.

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