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5 Tricks To Curb Holiday Calories

Crazy but true, a single Thanksgiving or Christmas meal contains approximately 3,000 calories and a staggering 229 grams of fat according to the American Council on Exercise. What’s more, weight gain over the holidays averages from one to three pounds, says the Calorie Control Council. From low-calorie recipes to exercise ideas, here are five ways to be in good shape — literally and figuratively — throughout the festive season.

1. Plan Ahead.

Maybe that means bringing a low-calorie side dish or gluten-free pie to a get-together. Or, think ahead and map out the day’s diet: If holiday dinner and drinks are scheduled for later, deliberately choose a light breakfast and low-calorie lunch. Either way, having a plan in place will help to curtail spontaneous splurging on fatty foods.

2. Eat With Pause.

In other words, be mindful of your habits. Eating slowly won’t just allow you to digest and feel full — it’ll also give you time to acknowledge what, exactly, you’re eating. Indulge, but not in excess, and always aim for a varied and balanced diet. Consuming the right kinds — and amount — of food sources will ensure that you meet daily nutritional needs of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water. One tip: Fill up on lean protein with white turkey meat instead of loaded mashed potatoes.

3. Be Choosy About Drinks.

Cut out the liquid calories by limiting alcohol altogether or at least avoiding the biggest offenders like eggnog, which is also high in fat and cholesterol. If you do drink, choose antioxidant-packed or low-calorie cocktails.

4. Don’t Forget Your Sleep.

We know rest is important, but according to a study out of the University of California, Berkeley, those who are sleep-deprived are also more prone to eating poorly and gaining weight — two of the biggest holiday hazards already.

5. Work It Off.

According to the CCC, increasing exercise during the holidays is the most straightforward (and effective) strategy when it comes to weight control. In other words, the more you move, the less guilt and gain. Get in the spirit, and in shape, with these upcoming Turkey Trot races throughout the area.

Find more information on how Independence Blue Cross can be a part of your plan for health and wellness.

Sponsor content is created for IBX by Philadelphia magazine as a marketing collaboration with IBX. This material is intended for reference and information only and should not be used in place of advice from a doctor or suitable qualified healthcare professional.