Joy Bauer’s Best Tips to Stay Slim During the Holidays

Joy Bauer is today’s guest author. Joy is a registered dietitian and the nutrition expert for the Today Show. She’s also the best-selling author behind several health books including Your Inner Skinny. You can visit her at

I’ve heard all sorts of “statistics” about how much weight the average person gains during the holidays: 5 pounds, 8 pounds, 10 pounds. But what’s the truth? A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the average person “only” gains about a pound between mid-November and the beginning of January. That’s slightly comforting. The bad news is, the researchers found that the extra holiday padding didn’t come off during the following year – and slapping on an extra pound every time Thanksgiving rolls around can add up to a BIG gain.

Have no fear! You can still enjoy the special sweets and treats of the season without blowing your diet if you strategize.  Here are some of my best tips to keep you on the straight and narrow (for the most part, anyway!) as the season’s festivities swing into full gear.

Follow My “Rule of One” at Parties
By keeping your portions in check, you can enjoy every highlight of your favorite holiday meals without going overboard.  Stick with just ONE of each deliciously tempting hors d’oeuvre, one plate of food, one alcoholic drink, and one dessert (or a sliver of two, if you can’t decide).

Make Exercise a Priority
Your schedule may be even more hectic than usual, but it’s more important than ever to make time for exercise. Staying active helps you burn off extra calories from stuffing, rich desserts, and other holiday indulgences, and it’s also a great way to counteract the stress that often accompanies family get-togethers and holiday planning. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity every day. And if your routine is getting boring, try something new. I have a fun, new DVD workout (Joy Bauer’s Slimdown Workout) coming out this month, just in time to add some variety to your holiday exercise plan.

Be Selective About Your Splurges
Choose a few special events or parties that you look forward to all year and plan to indulge at those celebrations. The rest of the season, stick to your normal, healthy eating and exercise habits. Remember – a few blow-outs a year will not have a significant impact on your weight as long as you don’t prolong the festivities. As I always tell my clients – they’re called holi-days, not holi-weeks or holi-months!

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