Shed holiday pounds with some simple tips

By Jodi Cornelio

Here are some simple ways to help you shed those extra pounds from all the holiday gatherings where food in any form is the main attraction.

Share the treats: Candies, pies and cookie not typically part of your nutrition program need to go. Sugars can keep you in a spiraling habit of snacking. Reaching for just one piece of chocolate to keep you going can lead to another. So just stop and either throw away those leftovers or give them away. Bring them to the office or give them to a charitable organization or some other organization you are associated with.

Drink up: Flush out all the extra pounds and holiday food with plenty of water and ditch the cocktail hours. For added value, you can squeeze some lemon into your water. This is not only flavor-enhancing but also loaded with vitamin C, which helps in the winter flu season. Lemons have their own detoxification properties as well so they are good for detoxing your system. Drink a full glass of water (10 oz.) before and after a meal. This will help you feel full so not to over indulge on food.

Stay busy: If venturing outdoors in the cold winter weather is not your thing, take on a project in the house that can keep you busy. Paint a room. Remodel a room or take up a hobby. Wood crafting, sewing knitting or anything inside preventing you from drifting to the refrigerator would be a good choice.

Kick the junk food cravings: If the holiday bad-eating habits have got you in a food craving frenzy, start focusing on low glycemic-index foods. By that I mean maintain a good source of proteins and fats in your diet. This is most important in the first meal of the day to avoid and stabilize blood sugar spikes that create these food cravings. Eggs or cottage cheese or yogurt in the morning is great for maintaining good blood sugars. Cheese and nuts for mid-morning or afternoon snacks work great. Salads with grilled chicken, lean meats and vegetables for lunch and dinner all work well at maintaining blood sugars and avoiding the junk food cravings. Mix in some healthy fats like olive oil and or peanut butter and you have a perfect meal plan for the day.

Get out and play: Even if you are not a cold-weather person, force yourself to venture out into the cold in the daylight. It is particularly important to get an adequate supply of Vitamin D to help with depression and cabin fever. Lacking daylight can really put your spirits in the tank. Get outside and play in the snow, go for a walk, shovel snow or pick up a winter outdoor sport like snow-shoeing, skiing or tubing. Most importantly, keep making plans with friends and family even if the holidays are over to keep your spirits high and your love ones close.