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Holiday Weight Gain a Big Fat Lie

The Truth About Fat
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To help keep things under control, she suggests that you:

1. Eschew the negative, guilt-ridden thoughts about "these horrible extra calories." Enjoy the holiday dinner.

2. Fix your traditional favorites -- the stuffing, the pie -- as you always have or you'll feel cheated. Certain side dishes could lose a little fat, like the green bean casserole, candied yams, and buttered mashed potatoes. Steamed green beans, broccoli, mashed sweet potatoes, and unglazed carrots can fill in the gaps. "You're compromising, but not in a depriving sort of way," says Sass.

3. Remember that you can eat pumpkin pie -- any dessert -- any month of the year. You don't have to eat mass quantities on holidays.

4. Meditate a bit on last year's holidays. Remember how uncomfortable you felt when you stuffed yourself, how you just wanted that feeling to go away.

5. Eat a little bit less than you otherwise might. Eat slower. Pick one desert to treat yourself, rather than taste-testing all of them.

6. Don't sit around talking, watching TV or movies, or playing cards after the big dinner. Start a new holiday tradition. Incorporate physical activity into your get-togethers with friends and family. Play charades or games, learn a new dance step -- anything that makes you move around some.

8. Take a walk after dinner -- but don't force anyone who's overweight to walk if they're not used to it. "Especially after a big meal, you have less blood flow and oxygen to your heart and lungs. Your body is still trying to digest it all."

9. Don't make the mistake of cutting fat in every holiday recipe, she tells WebMD. "You'll end up feeling unsatisfied. And if a recipe doesn't turn out that good, you end up really disappointed."

10. Remember that quality of life -- enjoying life -- is important. Part of that is maintaining good health by preventing disease.

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