Nutrition and fitness experts offer tips to stay slim over the holidays

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Holidays are a special time to indulge, but it can often lead to a battle of the bulge. Diet and nutrition experts offered Eyewitness News some tips to stay slim.

Dietitian Patricia Bannan says you should enjoy what you eat, but since there are so many treats around this time of year, keeping favorites out of your home can help.

"One thing you can do over the holidays is don't have your trigger foods in the house. If you love a certain type of cookie or a certain type of cake, buy the one you don't like, you won't be as tempted," Bannan said.

Bannan says there are other ways to celebrate.

"There's so many other enjoyable things you can do with friends and family that don't involve eating. You can go ice skating, you can go for a walk, or a hike, you can go bike riding together, watch a holiday movie," Bannan suggested.

However, if there is something at a party you must have, sit and savor with the three-bite rule. Take three tiny, polite, TV bites. That way the foods can be enjoyed in a modest quantity.

Another tip: aim to strength train at least twice a week. Since muscles burn more calories than fat, the stronger they are the better. Think of your body like a good car.

"A V-12 Hemi engine is going to suck gas, just like muscles suck fat," said Brian Nguyen, owner of Brik Fitness and trainer to actor Mark Wahlberg.

Nguyen says unfortunately most of us have become quite economical in conserving our strength and energy. That is not a good thing.

"If you're only running a four cylinder and only two out of those four cylinders are running, your gas really isn't going anywhere and neither is your fat," Nguyen explained.

Push-ups, squats, planks, nothing fancy or time consuming needed. Nguyen also recommends a buddy system for doing holiday workouts and staying accountable on eating. Check in diet-wise and workout together.

Bannan says if her clients have overdone it, they get back on track.

"They keep to their normal routine. They have breakfast in the morning. They keep with their workout. They get their sleep in," Bannan said.

One party does not wreck your program. With New Year's parties, Super Bowl celebrations, Valentine's Day and more, there will always be temptation, so you have continued opportunity to get it right.

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