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Thanksgiving marks the start of the busy holiday season, full of parties, food, and for many, alcohol. To avoid poor health during this time, it helps to keep in mind why we get together in the first place: to celebrate the season. Indulge in the love of family, sharing stories with friends and making plans for the New Year. Make food and drink a complement to your gatherings, not the star.


To stay on track this holiday season, try the following:


– Make exercise part of your holiday plans. Don’t put yourself on hold because of the hustle and bustle. Schedule your exercise each week to ensure you get the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity each day. It can even be a walk around the block, but make sure to get moving. Invite family along for even more fun and bonding!


– Overeating one time is not going to make you gain weight. It’s the choices you make every day that are important. Always aim for half your plate to consist of fruits and veggies. Be wary of high-calorie side dishes, like green bean casserole or fruit ambrosia, which can pack a bunch of sugar and fat.


– Make choices when it comes to your favorite foods. Would you rather the mashed potatoes with gravy or a slice of pumpkin pie? Making tradeoffs is a good way to manage your indulgences. Another great way to cut back on excessive eating is to only have a small amount. Instead of a whole slice of cheesecake, take a sliver.


– Clean out your fridge. Leftovers make it hard for us to say no. Who wants to waste food? When hosting, stock up on disposable food containers and encourage guests to take food home with them.


– If you drink, do so in moderation. The recommended serving of alcohol is two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. One drink equals either 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day, especially after a night of drinking.

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