Tips to Keep Off Those Holiday Pounds

By Heather Hubbs, Reporter

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By Heather Hubbs

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa-- This time of year, it seems pie and cookies are everywhere, not to mention the big spreads at holiday parties.
With all that food around, it can be easy to pack on the pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

St. Luke's Registered Dietitian Joyce Sankey has some tips to avoid holiday weight gain. She says eating right during the holidays starts in the morning. Eating breakfast not only gives you fiber and energy for the day, studies have found that people who eat breakfast eat 300-400 calories less per day than those who don't

Her next tip: Plan ahead. Avoid all those sweets in the office by keeping healthy snacks on hand that help curb your appetite, such an apple, a handful of nuts, or yogurt. Also, eating any one of those about an hour before you go to a holiday party can keep you from overeating. If you are going to a holiday gathering, offer to bring a healthy dish or appetizer, such as fruit kabobs or a veggie tray with hummus. And healthy doesn't have to mean tasteless and boring.

"One of my favorites is a seven layer bean dip," Sankey said. "I use low fat sour cream, light cheese, low fat refried beans and serve that with some baked chips and veggies so it provides nutrition and fiber."

And when you're at those holiday gatherings, use a smaller plate to help control portions. Also, don't forget to make time to get in some physical activity. Even if you can't make it to the gym for a full one hour workout, Sankey recommends squeezing in shorter workouts when you can -- even if that's just a walk during your lunch hour.

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