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Holiday Trim: Staying Slim Throughout This Festive Season

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

You’ve worked hard and worked out even harder to look bikini “hot” over the summer, but now that fall is here you may be falling back on a few of your old habits. And, with all those decadently delicious holidays on the way, counting our blessings may be on our list, but counting our calories is likely not.

Still, squeezing into some of those sultry holiday fashions and looking fabulously festive means feasting, but “frugally”.

Here’s what the experts suggest

1. Set yourself up for success: Sure you should keep calories in check, but don’t expect to shed any significant weight during the holiday season. Instead shift your focus to staying in shape and maintaining your current weight.

2. Make a “menu”: Even with all the rushing around, experts suggest finding time to eat. And, they suggest having a plan, such as carrying around healthy snacks for when hunger attacks.

3. Share and share alike: rather than order a big meal or dessert, order a few appetizers or a piece of cake you can share with your mate or friends. According to experts, it’s the first two bites that are most satisfying, so take a taste and pass it along.

4. b>Develop a healthy snack strategy: This is especially important BEFORE heading out to your holiday parties. Indulging in a low-fat, low-calorie snack will help you fill up before hitting the holiday fare, helping you make smarter and healthier selections since you won’t be “starving”. And, remember to eat breakfast to give your morning metabolism a boost.

5. Go shopping: For healthy foods and snacks. Keep lots of fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds handy. Besides being good to munch on while watching TV, or before a party, they are also an excellent source of nutrition for those on the go and on the run.

6. Veg out: Try holiday dips and cheeses with veggies rather than crackers as a low-cal, low-fat alternative to the traditional. And, opt for dips such as hummus and salsas over those laden with calories such as fat-packed blue cheese.

7. Add a little culture to your holiday fare: Try yogurt in lieu of mayo as a base for your salad dressing and dips. You can also use yogurt to thicken sauces or in lieu of creams in soups. Remember, even whole-fat yogurt contains less calories than cream.

8. Baker’s choice: While holiday fare may call for a variety of friend foods, experts suggest creating equally tasty versions of familiar favourites by baking instead of frying.

9. Stay lean with greens: Add veggie purees as thickeners, giving sauces, etc. the same thick texture and consistency without the fat.

10. Fight fat: Experts suggest coating pots and pans with one pass of a frozen butter stick. They note the frozen butter will take longer to melt and keep us from using too much. And, if you prefer a lubricating spray, five seconds is all that’s needed.

11. Conquer your fear of frying: While baking is always more highly recommended, try using good-for-you oils like olive and sunflower when the recipe calls for it. Also, with cakes and pastries, use applesauce in lieu of oil.

12. Sweet ideas: Instead of cutting out standard ingredients such as butter and whole milk, experts suggest lightening up desserts by replacing sweeteners with a natural sugar substitute with 75 percent less calories than sugar.

13. Have a sparkling holiday: Dilute alcohol with tonic water instead of sugary sodas when making holiday cocktails. Keep in mind however that carbonated beverages speed up your alcohol intake you pour with caution.

14. Wet your appetite: Or help keep it and calories at bay by substituting alcohol with a glass of lemon, lime, or sparkling water.

15. Prioritize before parties: Experts suggest identifying your Achilles heel before heading out the door. If you want dessert you may want to skip the cocktail table, or vice versa.

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