HEALTH

Healthy Holiday Thoughts and Tips

The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends, and a time to feast on amazing meals. But it is also the time to get a jump-start on a health-filled 2011.

Indulge in the culinary delights and eat well, but realize that eating too much - a extra bite of that serving - only leads to discomfort, bloating and fatigue. Rather than overfilling your plate, choose small portions of each food and savor the unique and individual flavors and distinct aromas of your meals.

Remember to put your fork down between bites, breathe with gratitude as you enjoy the visuals of the table and instead of eating rapidly, chime into cheerful conversation while you linger over your food. You will feel full more quickly and eat less.

Also, take a family walk after dinner, which will allow the food to digest properly and help fight that food fatigue. The crisp air will get your blood circulating and keep you alert.

Six tips for eating during the holidays, without gaining (too much) weight:

1. Pre-dinner, get in a nice 30-minute walk and work up an appetite for the feast that awaits.

2. Keep portions small, indulge in a little of everything and savor each bite, rather than "scarfing" down your meal. Relax. Enjoy it.

3. Put the fork down between bites and have discussions, reflect on what you are thankful about.

4. After dinner, take a stroll as a group around the neighborhood, which allows for ideal digestion and enjoyment of the cool air.

5. While a glass of wine compliments a meal well, make sure to hydrate with water before and during the meal. Water will help fill you up, and help you avoid overeating.

6. Sweets are not evil, but don’t feel compelled to eat an entire piece of the pie. Don't forget, this is a time for sharing.

These tricks will help you avoid having to unbuckle your belt, and feeling five pounds heavier.

Happy holidays. And make it a healthy one.

Tadeo, who is half Dominican, is a celebrity fitness trainer and founder of Cuerpaso, a fast-paced, 50-minute boot camp that fuses Latin dance with soccer movements. Cuerpaso was named one of the top Celebrity Workouts of 2010 by the TV Guide Channel. For more on Tadeo, visit his website www.cuerpaso.com

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