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Health & Families

Happy holiday eating, without gaining weight

How much weight do people gain during the holidays? The US National Institute of Health reports one pound or .5 kilos. While that may not seem like a lot, you're likely to keep that weight forever. Experts chime in on tips for keeping off the bulk as you toast the season.

"Attitude and commitment are so important to eating healthy any time of year," said US dietician and health expert Brittany Glassett in a news release on November 23. "There is no need to deny yourself all treats this time of year, but if you are mindful of what you are eating and practicing moderation, then you can be successful in your weight management goals."

Dietician Ellen Michal of Duke University in the US recommends shaving off sugary, fatty drinks from your  holiday routine - a large seasonal coffee drink adds as many as 400 calories to your diet. Also watch your alcohol intake at parties, which adds calories and increases your appetite. 

More healthy holiday-eating tips:

1. Eat small, frequent meals and healthy snacks during the day to help avoid overeating at holiday parties.
2. If you overindulge at one meal, don't stress about it - just get back on track with your next meal.
3. Don't drink your calories. Try alternating water with alcoholic beverages.
4. Substitute - yogurt for cream, sour cream, and mayonnaise, and substitute herbs and spices for salt and fats. You can also add strained applesauce instead of butter or cooking oil when baking.
5. Eat smaller portions or use a smaller plate.
6. Eat your food slowly.
7. Skip the appetizers - or bring your own healthy appetizer to a gathering. Nibble on raw vegetables, low-fat dips, and salsa.
8. Don't loiter in the same room as the food. Focus your attention on the company, rather than the buffet or the bar.
9. Skip the starches.
10. Exercise. Get the family together for a walk after dinner or go to the gym in the mornings before the holiday activities begin.

For more tips and advice: http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-holidays-8/default.htm

To watch a video on healthy holiday eating: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0Q6jraxjyY