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4 Ways to Fight Holiday Snacking and Wintertime Weight Gain

By KAREN JASHINSKY

As fall and winter seasons approach — and we find ourselves shoving our bikinis and swim trunks to the back of our closet drawers — it is easy to lose motivation to stay fit and healthy. Reaching for that second helping of pumpkin pie suddenly doesn't seem like such a terrible decision anymore. After all, the bikini days are done, right?

Wrong! No matter what the season or how much more comfortable your couch looks in comparison to hitting the pavement or hitting the gym, fitness and health are a lifestyle and a year-long commitment. Fortunately, there are ways to fight the seasonal-induced laziness and ambivalence that seem to creep up on so many of us at this time of year.

1. Avoid Seasonal Temptations
Avoid the purchase of seasonal candy like peppermint bark, foil-wrapped chocolates, or pumpkin flavored snacks. Although this seems like a no-brainer when it comes to staying in shape, no matter who you are, it's difficult to walk into a store and resist the seasonal candy aisles that are filled with temptations. Exercising self-control and avoiding the candy section at the supermarket can be a simple, yet crucial, step to staying committed to fitness and health goals.

2. Trick Yourself
In terms of snacking, sometimes I like to trick myself into thinking I'm indulging. It is amazing how sliced apples topped with cinnamon can become a makeshift apple pie. Most importantly, before any snacking I reach for a glass of water -- or maybe even a few -- because sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger. Simple tricks like these allow me stay focused and fit, despite a drop in temperature.

3. Take a Moderate Approach
Moderation is also essential when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you are gathered around the dining room table with family and friends during the holidays and your grandma has made some of her delicious homemade stuffing that she only makes once a year, yes, it is okay to have some. However, moderation is key to ensuring that you don't overindulge. If you remind yourself of this — and keep in mind the fact that a serving size is about as big as a fist — you are less likely to overeat and fall victim to that post-Thanksgiving fullness. Here's a quick and easy way to estimate portions.

4. Stay Active
Remaining active is critical to maintaining a healthy, and happy lifestyle. I might be unusual because I love going for a jog when it's chilly outside. However, if you are more inclined to stay inside for your workouts, hit the gym --and remember to do both cardio and toning/strength-training exercises. Maybe even grab some friends and hit the rink for some ice-skating. Here are a couple of workouts you could try:

Fat Burning Stride and Strength Workout
20 Best Body Weight Exercises

Don't let the season smash your motivation. A combination of cardio and toning exercises, as well as eating in moderation, will allow you to stay bikini-ready during parka and snow boot days.

– Karen

Readers - Do you find that it is hard to stay motivated on fitness and healthy eating during the colder months? How do you stay motivated and healthy? Let us know in the comments below, we want to hear from YOU!

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