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Kathi Casey
The Healthy Boomer Body Expert

Kathi is an author, coach, popular speaker and talk radio show guest, writes monthly columns for the South Shore Senior News, Life After 50, Boomers Forever and Retirement Living Magazines, produces her own TV show called To Your Health" in the Berkshires and owns the Healthy Boomer Body Studio in Otis, MA. Her programs combine good fun and humor with simple yet powerful techniques that fit easily into busy schedules.

5 Tips To Help Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

December is the one month each year that almost everyone I know gains a few pounds. Holiday cookies are on everyone's desk and at all the water coolers; neighbors send gifts of fruit cakes, snack mix and other delectable delights; and oh, the holiday parties! Family traditions abound during this time of year, like my favorite - my daughter-in-law and I have a cookie baking party each year, and then we share what each of us bakes. It's so much work that we hardly taste any of the little treasures when we're done, but we really enjoy the camaraderie and the glass of wine while we're baking! All of these traditions in one month means extra fat and calories are consumed. I'm not going to suggest that we don't take part in all these fabulous events, in fact, just the opposite. The older I get, the more I realize the importance of these holiday rituals for our emotional and spiritual health. What I will suggest today though, are a few simple steps we can all take that will keep the amount of weight gain down to a minimum.

•  First, resolve to enjoy your food – savor the flavor! This is an important step, because when we take a minute to inhale the smells of freshly roasted squash, or anything sautéed in garlic and onions, or those freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, we slow down our eating. Eating slowly helps us to digest our food better, and most of us eat less when we slow down and savor.

•  Another good practice is to take a walk with your family either before or after a big meal. When family and friends gather for a big meal, it's a good time to enjoy a brisk walk through the neighborhood. This tradition also shows the children and grandchildren that exercise is an important part of the holidays. Some families include an afternoon of skiing, skating or sledding before their big meal. Any exercise that you include will help you burn off a few of those extra calories, so plan something fun that your whole family will enjoy this holiday season.

•  Eating an apple about an hour before your meal helps fill you up and also improves digestion, so when you know you're going out for a party where there will be huge amounts of food, eat an apple on the way. You will enjoy your meal without feeling so full that you need a wheelbarrow to get you home afterwards!

•  Drink plenty of water – especially when partaking of the holiday punch, Champagne or wine. Drink a large glass of water between each of your holiday drinks and you'll drink less. Also, stay away from the eggnog. One little cup of eggnog contains 343 calories and 11 grams of saturated fat – Yikes! I usually allow myself one at Thanksgiving and one at Christmas, and I use a low fat version of eggnog! The Horizon low fat eggnog has about half the fat and “only” 260 calories.

•  Lastly, don't stress out about a few pounds! I've been on this planet for nearly 60 years and each holiday season I put on a few pounds. Then, I continue another great holiday tradition of making New Year's resolutions to take the weight off in January. So enjoy the holidays, knowing that you'll get back to healthy eating and your regular exercise routine, and that you'll be back to your pre-holiday weight in no time!

 

Wishing You Happy, Healthy Holidays!

Kathi

 

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