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  1. Keep up your exercise routines. Schedule exercise in your calendar. Make exercise a priority and hold yourself to it. It’s for you!
  2. No time to exercise? Try “occupational exercise! If you have a thousand things to do before house guests arrive, make cleaning your house your workout. Cleaning involves constant motion – bending, squatting, stretching, pushing and lifting. Does that sounding familiar? Aren’t these the same activities that we do when we go to the gym? What’s more, if you think about the physical benefits of cleaning, you might just make those bends and squats a bit deeper, and throw in a few more trips up and down stairs to retrieve cleaning supplies just for good measure. Try it; you’ll be breaking a bead (and breaking down fat cells) in no time!
  3. If you are entertaining, serve low-calorie favorites. Serve raw vegetables with a dip for an appetizer, a low-fat main course with one or two vegetables, and a fruit and low-fat cheese platter for dessert. Your guests will appreciate eating sensibly – remember they are being bombarded with the same holiday over-indulgence madness.
  4. Avoid skipping meals before a dinner party or big holiday meal. If you arrive starving, you are more likely to stuff yourself on unhealthy foods (including sweets).
  5. Strategically plan your arrival time at a party. Avoid the appetizers and before dinner high calorie drinks by arriving at mealtime for a dinner party.
  6. Prioritize – attend only the parties you really want to go to. You’ll save a lot of calories, time and stress.
  7. Be choosy about the foods available at holiday functions. There are usually a few acceptable healthy choices available to you. Concentrate on fresh vegetable or fruit plates, but don’t dabble too heavily in the sauces and dips. Mixed nuts can be good sources of protein, but be wary of candied nuts or extremely salty nut mixes.
  8. Do not deprive yourself, set realistic healthy eating goals. Do not restrict yourself so much that you crave every food offering you see. Allow yourself to indulge in some goodies at a holiday dinner or party by limiting yourself to smaller potions. Have only one glass of wine or Champagne, split a portion of dessert with a friend.
  9. Go for quality, not quantity. When you do indulge, pass up anything that doesn’t really excite and interest you. Take a small portion of what you love, and savor it by taking small bites and chewing completely. Slow way down, enjoy the moment.
  10. Avoid the hot chocolate. Many hot beverages are filled with sugar. There are plenty of herbal and fruit teas and infusions that are great alternatives. If you prefer your tea sweetened, use a little honey which helps build your immunity during cold and flu season.
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Working 40 hours a week it’s often hard to find good lunch options. Many times people head to vending machines, delis and restaurants only to spend and eat much more than they had planned to… My office is off the beaten track so even a trip to the vending machine involves leaving the building so I have taken to planning and bringing lunches from home.

Leftovers are easy – if you make supper at home cook a bit extra and bring it to work. Invest in a wide-mouth vacuum container, preferably lined with stainless steel, and pack your lunch as you clean up after dinner. If you find yourself eating out more often, bring your container with you to the restaurant. When the food comes, divide it in half (portions are usually twice as big as they need to be) and place the other half in your container for lunch the next day. Do it before you start eating – that way that extra little bit is out of site and out of mind.

Here are a few other options for lunches:

  • canned salmon (a cost effective way to get your Omega-3 fatty acids). Prepare it with a little lemon juice and a few herbs and spread it on a piece of whole grain bread, a rice cake or a few crackers.
  • Hummus and veggies – this is easy to prepare and pack – often times grocery stores sell vegetables already prepped for dipping. But in a few minutes after your evening meal you can cut up some carrots, celery, broccoli, cucumber and peppers and drop them in your container with a few cherry tomatoes for the the next day. The chickpeas in the hummus provide protein and fiber, while the vegetables offer up antioxidants.
  • Tabouleh salad is another great option served with pita bread or atop lettuce, it provides lots of antioxidants. The main ingredient, parsley, contains three times the vitamin C as oranges, twice the iron of spinach as well as folic acid, vitamins K and A.

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