Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to avoid holiday weight gain

(NAPSA)-Research from the National Institutes of Health indicates that most Americans gain one to two pounds over the holidays and that the vast majority of Americans do not lose this extra weight once the season ends-but there are steps you can take to stay out of such statistics.

"Although one to two pounds may not seem like much, the numbers gradually add up over the course of a lifetime and contribute to weight gain as we age," says Dr. Hilton Hudson, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Franciscan Physicians Hospital. "This cumulative weight gain puts the body at a greater risk for conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and arthritis."

Thus, avoiding that initial holiday weight gain can help you keep your weight in check for good. Here are some simple ways to maintain your weight throughout all the holiday parties and festivities:

Enjoy food in moderation. There's no need to deprive yourself of your favorite foods over the holidays. The key is to make sure you don't go overboard with portion sizes. In other words, instead of having two servings of mashed potatoes, limit yourself to one.

Don't try to lose weight. Instead of trying to drop pounds this holiday, aim to maintain your current weight. Rather than dieting, just try to live a healthy lifestyle. Often, following a restrictive diet can backfire, causing you to give up and overeat.

Get moving. One of the reasons people gain weight over the holidays is due to inactivity. Many people tell themselves that they're just too busy to exercise. Make a point to schedule your workout times in advance. Think outside the box and plan activities that you actually enjoy, such as an after-dinner walk or a ski trip with your family.

By taking action to avoid weight gain, you'll be well on your way to a happy-and healthy-holiday season.

There's no need to gain weight or deprive yourself of your favorite foods over the holidays.

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