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December 6, 2007

A to Z of Healthy Holiday Habits

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T - Tea

Go from black coffee to green tea during the holidays. It helps you with pre-event fasting, decreases your insulin levels (which, in turn, promotes weight loss), and gives you a much-needed jolt of caffeine.

U - Under-Serve

Prevent out of control eating by under-serving yourself. One way to do this is by eating off of a smaller plate, which helps with portion-control. Another way is by trying a couple different types of foods. Digging into whatever is placed in front of you usually leads to overeating, whereas sampling allows you to enjoy a more satisfying range of flavors and will fill you up faster.

V - Veer Away From The Table

Standing next to the dessert table at your office holiday party means that you’ll be thinking about dessert. And if you’re thinking about dessert, you’ll probably start eating (and then overeating) dessert. Instead, station yourself as far as possible from any tempting food spreads.

W - Walk It Off

While a quick cab ride home may sound tempting after a holiday dinner, opt for a leisurely walk instead. Even if you’re just walking to your car, this quick bit of exercise helps to get your digestive juices flowing without affecting your sleep habits.

X - No Xcuses

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean that you should throw your healthy eating habits out the window. Approach every chocolate Santa or slice of pumpkin pie as you normally would during the year.

Y - Yoga

The holidays are as much about stress as they are about indulgence. Yoga helps you get both under control by relieving stress and decreasing feelings of hunger in the evening. Try relaxing and breathing exercises after 6 p.m., when your body enters its rest zone.

Z - Zzzs

Getting enough sleep during the holidays is tough, but don’t let rest go to the wayside. Enforcing a nightly bedtime not only gives you an excuse to leave the office karaoke party early, but also ensures that you’ll be getting enough sleep throughout the season. Dr. Sadkhin recommends aiming for 10 p.m. during the winter, pointing out that your body makes up for a lack of sleep by overeating.

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