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How to avoid overeating at holiday gatherings

zimlikiTara102912_optBY TARA ZIMLIKI, CPT, CSCS
COMMENTARY

With the holidays quickly approaching food becomes the main focus in social gatherings. For most, the focus is taste rather than nutrition. As a result, according to the British Nutrition Foundation people gain between three and seven extra pounds over the between the holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. This may not sound like a large number but research demonstrates once gained, this excess “holiday” weight in more cases then not tends to become to become permanent. But you can stop overeating this holiday season and avoid weight gain with these simple tips:

1.) Avoid blowing your nutrition plan by bringing an appetizer and healthy dessert. Rather than staring at all the fat laden side dishes, bring a low calorie, guild free veggie platter and fruit bowl. If you begin your night with veggies and end with fruit you will already ahead of many.

2.) Avoid the “no nos.” Anything that is fried or breaded should be avoided. Also avoid adding any sauce to your entrée as this is usually a large diet mistake. If you avoid this you will be on the right track to nutrition success.

3.) Use portion control. One of the best ways to monitor calorie consumption is through portion control. By monitoring your portion size you will not stuff yourself and feel more energy post meal as a result.

4.) Fill up on Vegetables’, lean proteins and fruits in this order. This is the healthiest way to navigate the holiday buffet without overeating (and without offending the chief ;-). Fruits and vegetables consist of dietary fiber which is bulky and will fill you up. And lean proteins (chicken, fish, pork, lean meats) will also help to fill you. And protein is a metabolic booster.

5.) Wear clothes that fit. Women should wear form fitted pants or dress and men should wear form fitted pants. By wearing form fitted clothing you will be more conscious of what you are eating. You should not be unbuckling your belt to the last notch and still eating. Be mindful and healthy and as a result you will feel great!

6.) Eat slowly and be social. By eating slowly your digestive system will begin to work and you will eat less.

7.) If you want an alcoholic beverage have one. If you enjoy having a drink for the holidays, go ahead and have it just have one. And know the calories in your drink so you can cut corners with dessert. An easy solution is to make that drink a glass of wine, a light beer, or a spirit mixed with diet soda or tonic water. Just be mindful and have fun!

8.) H20 is the way to go. Research shows that thirst is often confused with hunger so being dehydrated could actually cause you to eat more too. To avoid that happening make sure to drink water throughout your social event!

Remember to follow the above tips to avoid overeating over the holidays, avoid weight gain and have a great time with your friends and family. Holidays are about enjoying one another and should not just be focused on food. Make the holidays a focus on fun with your friends and family and help them with your healthy mindset. Have a happy and healthy holiday!

Tara Zimliki is a Certified Personal Trainer, writer, Health Coach and founder of Tara’s Boot Camp in Branchburg, founder of funfitmama.com and local mom of three. She has competed and trained with top athletes at the University of South Carolina where she was awarded a full cross-country scholarship. Tara specializes in fat loss and nutrition. She is passionate about helping people change both body and mind, believing positive weight loss results stem from positive attitudes. She has successfully helped hundreds of clients in losing weight and changing their lives. Tara has completed 19 Marathons & hundreds of races worldwide. In addition, she has won many 5Ks and placed top in many long distance runs. In 2008, Tara placed in the top 500 women for the NYC Marathon and in 2010 placed in the top 5 percent for women. She has also been featured on FOX television, NJ Monthly and most recently in Prevention’s 2011 book, The List Maker’s Guide. Tara’s practices what she preaches in all aspects of fitness and health and for this reason she is a trusted trainer that produces results. For more information go to www.tarasbootcamp.com or www.funfitmama.com.

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