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6 Tips to Manage "Party Calories"

Avoid the holiday food "land mine".

We are in full swing of the holiday weight gain. In my opinion, it starts with the purchase of Halloween candy. When is that for you? October 1, or October 31? That, my friend, is the beginning. From there, it becomes an all-out battle to keep the weight off for many people. An extra serving here, a nibble there. By January 2, you just may be carrying around 10-15 extra pounds. Don't find yourself in that remorseful situation. Below are six tips to manage the next few weeks (and all year long, for that matter). It is never too late to cut back (or cut out) on some of the worst foods and beverages you put into your mouth. It's always nice to be reminded of the things we should know....but possibly choose to ignore.

"Eat right" leading up to a party. If you know you are headed to a celebration, begin your "be good to yourself" days in advance. Make smart food choices. Eat great. Eat lean. This will certainly make you feel great; and may even fuel your desire to not completely blow it at the party. Stock your fridge with fresh colorful fruits and veggies.

Stay hydrated leading up to a party. This goes hand in hand with number one (above). Proper hydration is necessary for energy. Water, water, water. Hey, you will have more energy at the party! Proper hydration will also keep you satiated. It will take less food to satisfy your hunger. Sparkling water is a festive beverage. Bubbles make people happy! If you have one cocktail too many, being hydrated in advance will also lessen the hangover effect the next day.

Eat before the party! What? Take in calories, before I go stuff myself? YES! Eat a small healthy snack or meal before you go. You empower yourself to avoid grazing the night away. You may be able to stay away from the buffet table completely. Or, at a minimum, you'll put less on your plate.

Be picky with your food choices. There is no reason that you need to "sample" everything on the buffet. Things that appear mediocre should be passed up, without even thinking about it. If it looks, or tastes, "meh". It is "meh". Pass it up, or put it down. Period.

Exercise daily. Even a shortened workout is better than no workout. Can't make it to the gym? Complete a 5-10 minute workout first thing in the morning, at lunch, and before bed. That adds up to a 30 minute workout. It counts. Then, if you choose to walk farther or take the stairs, you are making every moment count! Continue to move your body, rain or shine.

Get plenty of rest. Proper rest fuels the brain to make great decisions. Fatigue is a silent enemy when it comes to proper nutritional choices. Demand rest. Say "no" to late nighters and the after-party. You can certainly do without the booze and food at this hour. You will thank yourself later.

Go out! Enjoy! Celebrate! Party like a SMART RockStar!

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