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7 Tips to Beat the Holiday Bulge

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The holiday season is in full swing, so it's no wonder your jeans are feeling a little tight already. The lead up to Christmas is an exciting, joyful time. But it can be not so joyful if you're trying to slim your waistline.

You can still enjoy this time of year without putting on weight. It's all about moderation. Just because you are trying to lose weight doesn't mean you have to be boring, or miss out on the fun!

These strategic yet simple moves will have you powering into 2014 without the extra 5 pounds:

1. Reach for Protein: Protein keeps you feeling full for longer and therefore reduces your appetite. Try grilled meats, nuts, beans, eggs and low fat yogurt. Yes, they may be in disguise at a holiday party but they'll be there!

2. Fill Up First: Going to a holiday party hungry is a recipe for disaster! Any food looks delicious when you're hungry. Problem is, it may not be EXACTLY what you'd like to splurge on. Have a protein snack before the party to start the night off on the right foot.

3. Drink Up: Go easy on the boozey cocktails and stay hydrated with water or seltzer. If the beverages are 'accidently' falling down your throat, steer clear from heavy starches like potatoes, bread, rice and pasta.

4. Go With a Plan: Having simple food limits in place you know you can manage will give you more control over the situation. For example, promise yourself, “I won't eat any fried food tonight”.

5. Get Distracted: Instead of finding yourself loitering around the snacks table and being anti-social, mingle and chat with your mates to take your mind off the treats. It doesn't hurt to say no either. Only eat the foods you enjoy, not just the ones being offered to you.

6. Stop The All or Nothing Approach: If you have a rough day and you eat or drink yourself to death at the party, it's not the end of the world. The sooner you pick yourself up and get over it, the better for you.

7. Maintain Your Fortress: Keep your cupboards clear of the snacks that may tempt you to binge. Your home is your safe haven and you have the control. Enjoy the treats just don't bring them home with you.

Get a head start on your 2014 goals. Use these smart tips and give yourself five pounds less to lose in January.

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