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Fitness First – Holiday Eating

Fitness First

 Did you know that half of Americans’ annual weight gain occurs during the holiday period? And despite our New Year’s resolutions, studies show that some of that weight sticks around forever. Here are 5 healthy holiday habits to help you stay fit during the holiday period: Load up on bod-friendly food first. When at a party or celebratory meal, fill up on healthy food options that are high in fiber before moving onto the more decadent eats. “For example, hover over the vegetable sticks, fruit, or baked turkey pieces. You will be less likely to overindulge on the not so healthy foods if you have already filled up on some of the healthier items.Make red wine your drink of choice. If you like to toast the holidays with something stronger than seltzer, do it with red wine. Countless studies show that red wine is good for cardiovascular health, and a recent study found that (very moderate) red wine consumption may even help prevent breast cancer . But whatever you drink, keep in mind that alcoholic beverages usually contain about 150 calories per glass, and “avoid drinks made from mixes and frozen cocktails, like margaritas and daiquiris, and definitely say no to the eggnog.Load up on spicy food. Spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, garlic, hot peppers, mustards and chili sauce are known to spike thermo genesis, the heat-producing effect of calories that raises metabolism. Ginger for example, can boost metabolism by up to 20%, making pumpkin bread and gingerbread cookies great holiday treats.Don’t nibble while you cook. Too much “sampling” of food while you’re preparing it can mean eating a whole meal’s worth of calories before the big meal even starts!  Resist and keep sampling to a minimum.Pick pumpkin over pecan. Pecan pie is a staple dessert during the holidays,  but an undeniable alternative is pumpkin pie.   At 500 calories and 37 grams of fat, pecan tops the list of worst pies out there. While the nuts do contain some heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, the filling is  full of butter and corn syrup. “Pumpkin pie has 316 calories and 14 gram fat per slice, plus pumpkin is a good source of fiber and vitamins A and C.Hey Acadiana, you don’t have to throw out your healthy eating habits to enjoy the holiday season, so keep it in moderation and definitely keep fitness first!  

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