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Tips to survive putting on the pounds this holiday season

by Terri Wiebold with contributions from Kent Paul

(Kent Paul, fmr. Mr. Colorado – Personal Fitness Trainer – Village Fitness Center – Castle Pines –

Remember the “Freshman Fifteen”? Did you know that many Americans actually gain in the area of 15 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years alone? Kent Paul, former Mr. Colorado and fitness guru has been training and designing health programs for individuals for more than fifteen years. He provides The Castle Pines Connection readers with the following tips to survive holiday parties and the “holiday fifteen.”

Holiday Baking:

When baking goodies for friends and family, make their favorite treats, not yours. You are more inclined to snack while baking if it is something you like. Try substituting applesauce in exchange for oils. Use Splenda and brown sugar Splenda in place of white sugar; whole-wheat flour in place of white flour. Replace whole eggs with egg whites from a carton, or at least a few eggs. Use sugar free or fat free creamers and sweeteners. After baking is complete, seal goodies up in a container and store in a safe place. There’s a lot to be said for the old adage out of sight, out of mouth…or was it out of mind?


The holidays are the perfect time to snuggle up with a cup of hot cocoa or hot tea. Your waistline will appreciate it if you pass on the whipped cream and marshmallows atop that cozy mug of hot chocolate. Substitute cinnamon or a dash of peppermint Schnapps for holiday flare to any traditional cup of coffee, hot cocoa or even tea – if you are so inclined.

If you do drink alcoholic beverages, be careful to avoid rich creamy drinks such as spiked eggnog, Baileys or Kahlua, which can contain up to 800 calories per drink. Instead, choose low-sugar drinks such as vodka and diet soda drinks. Remember to drink water throughout the day, as well as at least 20 ounces of water at the end of the night. Then try adding in a detox tea at the conclusion of your evening to help cleanse your body before a much-needed good night’s rest.


Be sure to eat a well-balanced healthy meal before leaving for your soiree. Never show up to a holiday party hungry. Appetizers and finger foods are NOT your friend. When arriving at the party, stay out of the kitchen. In general, people tend to congregate around food. Don’t linger by the food tables. Put small portions of each food you want on your plate and go to a different room. It is astonishing how many calories can be mindlessly eaten by talking and hanging around the kitchen.


Don’t forget the importance of exercise. If you get your workout in early in the day, you are more likely to be conscientious of what you are eating and drinking later at the parties. Most importantly, try not to beat yourself up over a few indulgences; get back on track the next day. It’s a journey, not a race. Finally, make sure to create a fitness plan of action for after the holidays.



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