Naughty or nice, the holiday season opens the door for some festive indulgence.
Tempting treats like cookies, candies and cocktails are more than enough to throw you off your diet.
“During the holidays, we tend to eat more and exercise less,” said Dr. Michael Aziz, author of The Perfect 10 Diet. "We also tend to eat the wrong types of foods, and before we know it, we are gaining a lot of weight. People can easily put 10 to 14 pounds on during the holidays.”
Here are some ways you can ‘cheat’ on your diet during the holidays without tipping the scales in the New Year.
1. Snack on vegetables
“Vegetables have a lot of fiber – they have nutrients and vitamins,” Aziz said. “They fill you up nicely.”
Taking a bite from the holiday gift basket instead of the chocolate box is a good idea.
2. Limit which fruits you eat
“Fruits contain a sugar called fructose, and the upper limit that the body can handle in one single day is about 15 grams,” Aziz said. “And many fruits have more than 15 grams - bananas in general, apples, pears. Stick with fruits that have a lower sugar content, such as strawberries, blueberries.”
3. Think outside the box when it comes to dessert
“Chocolate has a lot of sugar, and it’s going to add a lot of calories,” Aziz said. “It's going to mess up the hormone insulin, which is a fat-storing hormone. My suggestion is to melt the chocolate, and add the fruit of your choice.”
4. Mix it up
“Alcohol is a sugar,” Aziz warned. “Put some water over the wine, or put some seltzer over the vodka. It’s a good way to cut down on calories.”
When it comes to shopping – don’t order online. Lace up your sneakers, and hit the mall. An hour of walking could burn up to 200 calories, Aziz said.