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Tips to avoid holiday weight gain

Sarah Wassner Flynn is a New York City-based writer. She's contributed to magazines such as CosmoGIRL!, National Geographic Kids, Runner's World, Women's Health, Prevention and MetroSports New York. She is also the author of The Book of ...

Holiday weight be gone!

The holidays are here - and so are those expanding waistlines. Between binging on caloric cookies and drinking candied cocktails, it's no wonder the average American gains seven to 10 pounds between Halloween and New Year's. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to avoid the dreaded winter weight gain without eliminating the fun. Here are three.

Holiday weight be gone!

Festive fitness

With all of the partying, shopping and spending time with family, the holidays are nothing short of hectic. But that doesn't mean you should skimp on your sweat sessions. Even just 20 minutes of vigorous activity three times a week will keep you fit during the festive season.

Go for walks around your neighborhood to check out the lights and holiday décor – add lunges, sprints or squats into your routine for an added boost. An even better option? Sign up for one of the many fun runs occurring each weekend during the holiday season (see Runner's World Race Calendar for one near you). Ranging from three to 15 miles, you can get in a great cardio workout and then sample all of those sweets!

Domestic exercise

Whether you are slaving away in the kitchen or shoveling snow all day, you can pack in a powerful body boost right under your own roof. You can burn extra calories with a few extra moves while you are cooking (click to get the dish on kitchen fitness). You can also work in a work out by shoveling snow, raking leaves or any other household activity that gets you moving. You'll stay in shape and be an enviable domestic diva.

Dine wisely

Heading to a dinner party? Make sure to munch on healthy treats like nonfat yogurt or fruit beforehand so you don't show up starving. Skipping snacks earlier in the day may make you eat more later, which can easily lead to weight gain. And when you're choosing what to chow down, go the healthier options like brighter veggies (they're more vitamin-packed) and avoid heavy cream sauces. When you hit the dessert table, satisfy your sweet tooth with small slices or samplings of pies, cakes and cookies.

More healthy holiday tips

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Take a healthy holiday trip to a local park
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