6 Ways to Melt Away Christmas Calories

christmas stocking

If you’ve indulged this holiday, your clothing might feel like it shrunk a bit in the dryer. It happens to the best (read: health conscious) of us, especially with so many rich seasonal treats available.

Rather than pledge to lose weight for a New Year’s resolution, why not do something now? Make small, manageable changes.

Watch that weight melt away with activities and lifestyle choices that don’t require a new gym membership (although that wouldn’t hurt either).

1. Take a brisk 20 minute (or more) walk — After dinner, before leaving for work, at lunchtime. Whenever, just schedule it in. Walking the dog is a great excuse to get out, too. This low-impact activity burns calories otherwise inclined to stick with you through winter.

2. Use the stairs — Don’t look for an elevator, let your gluts do the work. Why pay for a stair-climbing machine, when you live or work in a building offering the option? Try it during your daily errands.

3. Reach for savory — If you normally snack on sweet stuff during the holidays, try fresh-tossed salad, raw vegetables with low-fat dip, or steamed vegetables spiced with creativity (I’m thinking glazed carrots with ginger and nutmeg) instead. For other flavoring, keep the fat to a minimum, but be generous with low sodium or yogurt-based sauces.

If you must have sugar, try reducing the amount you consume by half. Or simply skip that extra glass of eggnog or sherry – one less for the waistline to carry. Yes, liquid calories definitely count.

4. Cut out hydrogenated fat — Take a look at the food label on that TV dinner, bag of chips or coffee creamer. If you see the words ‘hydrogenated fat’, ‘partially-hydrogenated fat’, or ‘trans fat’, chuck it. Health authorities warn that these fats are hard for your body to handle.

5. ‘Tis the season – for wintery activities — Break out the sled, skis, snowboard, hockey or figure skates and head to your nearest park, slope, or recreation center. You’re sure to have fun and work up a sweat.

6. Hydrate and rest — Be sure to get enough shuteye (at least 7 hours) per night. You’ll feel refreshed, and less likely to indulge in midnight snacking. When we don’t get enough sleep our hormones trigger food cravings, even when we aren’t running on empty.

Drink plenty of water (not soft drinks, alcohol, coffee, non-herbal teas or juices). Water helps body processes run smoothly, and doesn’t contain additives, sugar or caffeine, which dehydrates you.