Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


November 14, 2012

Fitness column: Talking turkey about holiday weight gain


When you're invited to a holiday party eat some fruit, raw vegetables or some brown rice before the party -- never arrive starving. If you're asked to bring a dish to the party, bring a salad, black bean dip or roasted vegetables.

Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Instead, put some sparkling water in a wine glass and drink plenty of water throughout the night.

Keep track of your weight with weekly weigh ins. Make a deal with yourself that you will only gain one to three pounds over the holidays and stick to it. Have a friend agree to do the same so you can support one another. Write down what you eat each day. Seeing it on paper makes it real.

Exercising during the holidays is crucial. Exercise will help you deal with the added stress of the holidays. If you can't stick to your usual routine, come up with a new one. If you only have 15 or 20 minutes for cardio, it's better than nothing. Run, walk, bike or jump rope and keep the intensity level high for the full 20 minutes.

If you're traveling to see family, plan ahead. Find out if they have any exercise equipment or if there are any hiking trails nearby. Write out an exercise routine before you go. Take a walk around the neighborhood after a big holiday meal to look at the holiday decorations.

Remember, you can enjoy the holidays and stay fit.

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