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7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain

December 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
This time of year is definitely fun, festive and food-oriented. But you can still enjoy all the holiday delights out there without going overboard.

Here are seven tips from experts to help you make your holidays healthy, and they've got nothing to do with counting calories.

Start by putting the pen to paper. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found those keeping a food journal lose an average of 6 pounds more than others. The key is keeping your journal with you and writing your food down after meals and snacks, which makes you aware of what you have or haven't eaten that day.

If you have a food craving, clench your fist. Researchers found those who tightened a muscle for at least 30 seconds were better able to control their food impulses.

But if you do have a sweet treat, have a protein chaser like a slice of deli meat. This tends to put the brakes on your sweet craving for more.

If it feels like you're always hungry, try a tablespoon or two of vinegar before meals. Vinegar's sharp acidic taste may increase feelings of fullness. If you don't want a spoonful, try sprinkling it on a salad.

To avoid late-night snacking, brush your teeth and floss right after dinner. Full stomach, clean teeth and knowing you have to scrub again might just keep you from indulging.

But if you are going to have dessert, take three bites -- three reasonable bites -- then put that fork down. It's a great calorie-saving tip, and you'll feel satisfied and confident.

Weigh yourself at least once a week.

Eat breakfast daily.

Limit the amount of television you watch to less than 10 hours a week.

These tips are from the National Weight Control Registry from those who've lost an average of 66 pounds and kept them off.

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