Every year the typical American gains 5 to 10 pounds from Halloween to New Year’s Day. This article gives 10 easy strategies on how to cut calories during and after the holidays so you can start your new year guilt free!
1. Keep exercising during the holidays even if you don’t have as much time as you normally do. Do only 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least 3 days a week but at a higher intensity. For example after every five minutes of walking, switch to one minute of running.
2. Do an upper body weight room program at least one day a week and a lower body workout on another day. For every pound of muscle you build, you’ll burn 40 more calories a day.
3. Eat a snack before going to a party. If you eat a little snack or drink lots of water before going to a party, you will be less likely to over eat because you won’t be as hungry.
4. When going on a date do an activity instead of just going out to eat and to the movies. Go bowling, roller-skating, or walk in the mall.
5. Fight the temptation of eating little bits of candy that is around the office. Most little chocolate candies contain 180 to 200 calories. Instead have a piece of fruit or drink a cup of sugar free hot chocolate if you need something sweet.
6. Increase the amount of fiber you consume each day. Try to have 36 grams and your body will absorb about 130 fewer calories every day. Fiber is also great because it will make you feel fuller faster, therefore, you’ll eat less. Whole wheat bread, high fiber cereals, and most fruits and vegetables have lots of fiber.
7. Drink lots of water. If you are dehydrated, your metabolism slows down by 2 to 3 percent. Try to drink eight cups of water a day and stay away from caffeinated drinks.
8. Stay away from condiments. Each tablespoon of mayonnaise adds more than 200 calories and honey mustard contains 50 calories. Stick to Dijon mustard on your sandwiches and lemon juice on your salads and vegetables.
9. Take your own lunch to work instead of going out to eat. You will consume 300 fewer calories a day and around 6,000 calories per month if you eat low-calorie frozen meals or whole-wheat sandwiches every day for lunch.
10. Throw away holiday leftovers. If you have a party and lots of leftovers, just go ahead and throw them away. Holiday foods are the most fattening foods you have all year, so have your party and enjoy, then throw away all the leftovers that same night or give away to friends or families.
Practice these easy strategies during the holiday season and you won’t have to worry about gaining extra pounds and then having to lose those pounds in the New Year. You’ll feel so much better about yourself and I promise you won’t look back and regret
not eating all those extra calories. Remember, exercise and being healthy is fun!

Mary Wannall is the owner of Gold’s Gym and Metabolic Training. She can be reached at mwannall@gmail.com.