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Top 10 tips for shedding the holiday pounds this new year

by Dara Zaidman-Steiger

Studies show most people gain as much as eight to 10 pounds from holiday eating.
Dara Zaidman-Steiger, Director of Behavior Education and Nutrition for L A Weight Loss Centers offers the “Top 10 Tips for Shedding the Holiday Weight,” to help get Americans on track with weight loss for their New Year’s

• Don’t cut calories too drastically — eating too few calories can slow down your body’s metabolism, remember you have to eat to lose; it’s about eating the right balance of foods and calories for your body.

• Pick up the pace for the new year — getting active doesn’t have to only mean heading to a gym, it can also mean just burning some more calories each day — cleaning the house, shoveling snow or taking a brisk walk before breakfast are easy ways to get moving this year.

• Fresh foods are best — tossing away excess pre-packaged foods and head straight for the produce aisle; fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and grains are best when you are trying to shed those excess pounds. Try heading to the grocery store at least one time per week to keep your kitchen well-stocked.

• Keep a journal or diary — include the specific foods consumed, beverages, servings, time, activity each day and feelings, such as hunger, sadness or boredom. This will help you stay in tune with your eating style and behaviors.

• Start eating breakfast — even if you do not enjoy eating before noon, try to get in a little something, it can be oatmeal, yogurt and wholegrain cereal or an egg white omelet to get the day and your metabolism started. Then try eating small meals throughout the day to help keep your hunger levels down. It will also help prevent overeating at lunchtime.

• It is not all or nothing — you are going to have meals or days that don’t exactly fit into your new, healthy lifestyle — this is reality. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

• Small portions please — If you want to eat something that doesn’t exactly shout low fat — then try a small sliver or a couple of bites. Some foods have small, individual varieties or you can portion out servings on your own using small bags or Tupperware.

• Watch what you are drinking — whether it is soda, juice, or alcohol - the calories add up. Do yourself a favor and choose water or low calorie beverages. If you replace your three cans of regular soda each day for water, this can mean you can lose up to a 1/2 pound per week, in addition to all your other efforts!

• Get your family and friends on board — having a solid support network is very important when trying to lose weight and keeping it off. It is always better to have someone to cook with, eat with or walk with. It will help to keep your motivation levels up so that you stay on track this year.

• Get cooking — Eating out and on the go can mean eating lots of hidden calories from fat and sodium. So this year, try cooking easy meals if you never cooked before. Cooking over the weekend can help you pre-plan for the week. Experiment with new herbs, seasonings and foods to help keep your taste buds delighted and your waistline down.

— PRNewswire/LA Weight loss centers

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