Banish Holiday Weight Gain

Enjoy all the season’s social gatherings, delicious food, treats and beverages with these weight loss success tips.

• Stick with your eating routine. It's easy to get sidetracked during the holidays, but be sure you're still planning your meals ahead of time and sticking with your year-round menu when cooking at home.

Drink water. Did you know that when our bodies are just 2% dehydrated we go into fat storage mode? Water is a natural and simple appetite suppressant. Try downing 16 ounces of water before reaching for a snack and see how you feel.

Alter your exercise routine. Demands on your time increase during the holiday season due to family, social and work gatherings as well as extra time spent gift shopping and driving in traffic. Reduce the quantity or length of your exercise sessions. If you have a favorite machine, try this intense fat-burning, weight-busting routine that only takes 15 minutes but will burn fat for 24 hours. Choose your machine — treadmill, stair-stepper, elliptical or other — and begin with a 2-3 minute moderate pace warm up. Next, go for a 30-60 second interval as hard or as fast as you can, then lower the resistance to moderate again for 2-3 minutes to let your heart rate come down. Repeat this process for 4-6 intervals.

Be wise when choosing holiday foods. Instead of filling up on crackers, breads and cookies, look for special holiday treats that are still good for your body: fresh fruits, shrimp, deviled eggs, sweet potatoes, salads, baked apples, turkey, beef roast. All can be enjoyed as healthy foods in moderate quantities. Take a pass on the alcohol, a fast-acting sugar.

Load up on desserts. Yes, you heard that right. Instead of leaving the desserts in the hands of others, offer to bring the dessert. Include raw desserts that are the most delicious desserts they’ve ever indulged in and are fat-burning too, such as tiramisu, triple chocolate cake and chocolate mint pie — all raw!

Get plenty of sleep. Too many late nights or sleepless nights can influence your hunger levels, willpower, cortisol levels (high cortisol levels equals fat and weight gain) and also your mood. Regular, high-quality sleep will help you to keep an optimistic, healthy outlook while giving you the energy you need to keep exercising and enjoying holiday events. Earplugs might help you get into a deeper sleep.

Stay positive and remember that you’re human. Try to keep your mind in the present moment and enjoy each day as it comes. If you "slip" and indulge in too many holiday sweets, don't beat yourself up about it. A slip up here and there will not kill you, but the stress of beating yourself up will set you back. Find something each day to smile about and even jot down a journal of all that you are thankful for that day and watch your stress and weight go down!

Anna Scurry is the co-director of The ALIVE Academy of New England, New England's only human potential center specializing in prevention, the anti-aging lifestyle and a natural and holistic approach to health. You can reach Anna at (401) 305-3959, or email Visit