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5 Tips to Keep the Holiday Fat Away

The holidays are here again. Christmas is in just a few weeks and it seems like every day there’s another holiday party or someone bringing in some crap to your office. You had that motivation this year to get past it. You’ve worked your ass off and your food choices have been spic and span. But you don’t want to be a party pooper so you attend the festivities and the peer pressure begins. How do you combat the urge to go ballistic on the cookies, cakes and fattening foods?

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Here are a few things to help you fight the holiday fat trap:

#1 Make sure you have eaten something before you attend any holiday party. Going to a party on an empty stomach is a mistake. The tendency to gorge on tasty delectable items is high. If you already have some food in the tank you will be less likely to fill your plate with your eyes, neglecting to remember that your stomach is only the size of your fist.

#2 Find the healthiest low-calorie dishes and consume those first. Remember, it’s still about calories in and calories out. Keep those calories at bay and keep the damage of overconsumption to a minimum.

#3 Once your plate is full move away from the table and socialize. Whatever you do, do not socialize next to the food table. This is a huge mistake. You will most likely keep filling your plate. The further you are away from the table the better. You’ll have to make a concerted effort to get more food and often times if you’re involved in a conversation you will not leave for the sake of not being rude.

#4 Use a small plate instead of a big one. Using a small plate keeps your portions under control. Loading up a big hefty plate with tons of desserts and high calorie foods is a huge hit to your waistline. Use a small plate and put a few items on the plate. If you need more then go back for more at a later time. Don’t load up food to keep from having to go back to the table for more.

#5 Be the designated driver. This will not only save your life but it will save you a hell of a lot of empty calories from alcohol. There’s a lot of debate about whether you can consume alcohol and still obtain the body you dream of. Debate is over…you can’t achieve the body you desire if you are a regular drinker…Not only are the calories useless and large in amount, but the impact on the body’s metabolism is severe.

Do you have any recommendations for avoiding the holiday fat trap? I want to hear from you…

Rich Thurman MA, CSCS, CPT is a Health & Performance Coach and Personal Trainer in from the United States, residing in Bangkok. Co-founder of Active Lifestyle Co. Ltd, Rich has worked with hundreds of people, from collegiate level athletes to every day people helping them reach their sports and lifestyle goals. With a focus on a holistic health approach, providing accountability and structured exercise programs for kids and adults, Rich has successfully helped many people transform their lives and perform better, maximizing their abilities in sports and life. Rich graduated Pre Med from UCLA with a Bachelors Degree in Physiological Science and obtained a Masters Degree in Sports Management from USF. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach with the NSCA and a Certified Personal Trainer. Author of various publications dealing with sports training and nutrition, Rich brings a high level of professionalism to the Bangkok Personal Training arena: www.bangkokpersonaltraining.wordpress.com.
  • Sandy

    So, eat whatever you want. Just choose more good things than bad things, and when choosing bad things, eat only half of it. Portion control is key.

  • http://www.jarretmorrow.com Jarret Morrow

    Hey Rich, I love reading your posts! Great stuff again. You’re definitely right about point number 5. People often imbibe too much alcohol during the holidays. There’s even a name for it used loosely by some physicians, ‘holiday heart.’ There can be cardiac consequences to drinking too much over the holidays, so it’s not even limited to the excess of empty calories.

  • Nsmukundan

    Wow great tips for this Christmas holiday. I particularly liked the 3rd point – move away from table when the plate is full.

  • Nancy

    Working in an office where our (very generous) clients send in (very generous) food gifts starting in mid-December…this is an unbelievably challenging time of year. I have found that the idea of filling up on “healthy” items first helps me at least eat “less” of the goodies, and on those days I try very hard to eat healthier…and lighter…for the rest of the day if I can. Does it always work? Nope, but I think it’s better than it would be if I didn’t even try. And with a concerted effort at doing “some” kind of physical exercise each day (even if just forcing myself to walk farther to my car), I hope that things are better than they would be if I didn’t even try….

    • http://bangkokpersonaltraining.wordpress.com/ Rich Thurman, MA, CSCS, CPT

      You’re absolutely right Nancy. Trying is the important thing. Most people don’t even try.