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Healthy Holiday Tips for Busy People

It's Christmas time again and meeting up with family on the Holidays means you will be eating and drinking more and the extra pounds can creep up if you're not mindful. Every time you consume an extra 3500 calories without exercise you gain one pound of FAT!! More than 10 extra pounds of FAT on your body frame can be detrimental to your health so this holiday season I have some tips that you can use when you get busy and get a head start on the New Year rush.

1. Get up early or stay up late - 20 minutes of structured physical activity is required for optimal heart health and getting up early or staying up late after everybody has gone to bed will give you plenty of time to do what you need to do. My favorite short workout is 25 push ups, 25 crunches and 25 squats three times apiece.

2. Join your kids - spend that 20 minutes with your kids doing “kid stuff”. Normal kids heart rates are about 110-150bpm and they never want to sit still. Get down and dirty with them, play on the floor, go outside, or just run around and be a kid!! Spending that time with your children will give you quality time doing quality activities that can help strengthen and build a stronger bond.

3. Develop a eating strategy - just because its the holidays with all the food doesn’t mean you have to give in. Think of this when you fix your plate:

* 1) eat protein first
* 2) vegetables/fruits second
* 3) casseroles (if your still hungry)
* 4) desserts (just a little)

4. ”Walkie Talkie” - while your on the phone talking with your friends get off your duff and walk while you talk, its even easier than chewing gum – can you hear me now?

5. Snack ahead of time. When you do meet with family eat a little something like an apple or some reduced-fat popcorn, you will not be going on an empty stomach and will have less room to load up on casseroles and desserts.

6. Eat slowly - It takes your stomach roughly 20 minutes to realize it is full. Chew your bites and take your time to notice how full you are and stop before you have over-stuffed yourself. Feel a full belly and you ate too much!!

7. Enjoy the company. You don’t get to see your out of town family every day so take some time to chew your food and listen while they talk and when its your turn DON’T talk with your mouth full! If you are engaged in great conversation then your not going to be stuffing your face.

Seriously the holidays are about giving and spending time with those you care about. Usually, eating many large, tasty meals is just part of the season. So don’t worry about losing all your weight but rather let your goal be to maintain your body weight so after the holidays you can get up, get fit, and get toned!!

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