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It may be freezing outside but this doesn’t mean that you have to stay indoors all winter. There are a lot of ways to stay active during the winter. Plus, you can have fun and stay in shape at the same time.

Here are a few tips to stay active and keep the body you love during the winter season.

Get familiar with the mall

No. We’re not asking you to go on a shopping spree. Instead, go out and take a walk inside the mall. This provides a safe and climate controlled environment where you can walk around for a few hours. Also, feel free to go window shopping while doing so. Just be sure to wear a nice pair of walking shoes.

Buddy up

Exercising outside with a bunch of friends during the winter season does not only provide motivation, it is also a safety feature. So, get in touch with your friends and use this season to hangout and stay active together.

Also, be sure to bring your cell phone with you and place it in a waterproof pouch.

Try a winter sport

The winter weather offers a wide variety of activities that you can enjoy with the entire family. Sledding, snowboarding, skiing and ice skating are just some of the activities that you can engage in during this season.

Take a skating or ski lesson with a few friends or spend an entire afternoon sledding with your family. These activities do not only help you stay active, it also allows you to spend quality time with your loved ones.

Switch up your routine

If you love exercising outdoors, you can use the change of weather as a reason to try something new. There are thousands of ways to stay in shape. So, try to change up your workout routine before the start of each season.

Invest in fitness DVDs

This allows you to exercise at home anytime. You can go online and determine the type of exercise you’d like to do at home. If you live in an apartment, Pilates or Yoga would be perfect since it involves a lot of mat work. If you have a bigger space, Zumba may also be a great option.

Indulging on classic dishes like pumpkin pie, hot chocolate, mashed potato and prime ribs is a part of the holiday fun. However, taking in too much of these could make you feel heavy and bloated. Luckily, there are a few healthy tweaks that you could do in order to help lighten up your favorite holiday treats without sacrificing the taste and your figure as well.

Cheese tray

When serving cheese, try to incorporate reduced-fat cheeses to your usual cheese selection. This way, health-conscious individuals shall have better options. Also, don’t forget to round up your cheese tray with whole grain crackers and fresh fruits like pears, apples, figs and grapes.

Mashed potato makeover

Though potatoes by themselves offer a long list of nutrients like Vitamin C and potassium, you’ll be sacrificing its nutritional integrity by adding in loads of fattening ingredients like heavy cream, butter and whole milk.

To lighten up this tasty treat, use low fat buttermilk instead of full-fat dairy. Plus, ramp up the flavor by adding in spices and fresh herbs like roasted garlic or chipotle pepper.

Slim with skim

During the Christmas season, it’s fine to indulge on peppermint lattes and hot chocolate. However, considering the amount of food you’ll be taking in, it is best to trim down on the calories where you can. So, instead of whole milk, request for skimmed milk. By doing so, you could save up to 100 calories per 16 ounce serving.

Cut the crust

If you’re the type of person who eats pumpkin pie just for the filling, you might want to skip on the crust completely. By doing so, you could shave off at least 100 calories per slice.

Stick to your usual filling recipe and pour it into individual ramekins. Then, bake it until it sets. Top it off with whipped cream and you’ll get a delicious pumpkin custard with a cute presentation to match.

Rethink your roast

For meat lovers, a holiday celebration would never be complete without a perfectly cooked slab of prime rib. However, at 720 calories per 6 ounce slice, the stats alone could make your heart skip a beat.

For an equally tasty meal without all the damage, you might want to consider lean beef tenderloin since it has about half of the calories. If this does not work you, you could also try other lean holiday entrees like pork tenderloin or roast turkey.

 

Hard to ignore all those tempting sweets during the holidays? Do you dread the holidays with all those tempting, fattening foods? This year, be prepared for the season with these tips from WebMD.com

1. Exercise, exercise, exercise

“Setting a regular fitness schedule is the key to keeping weight off in winter,” says Lisa Giannetto, MD, an assistant clinical professor in the Diet and Fitness Center at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. “Come five o’clock, when it’s pitch black and cold out, you’re a lot more likely to go to your warm home and watch TV if you don’t have a regular fitness schedule that includes a variety of types of exercises.”

2. Never go to a party hungry

“Fruits and vegetables are where we need to get our carbohydrates, and not from alcohol and brownies,” says Jule Anne Henstenberg, RD, director of the nutrition program at La Salle University. “Use high-fiber fruits and vegetables to fill up before a party.” Eat a bunch of baby carrots, a big salad, or an apple, for example, to curb your desire for empty party-food calories.

“When we eat outside the home, studies suggest that we may take in 40% more calories than we would otherwise,” says Cheskin. “We even have seen this finding replicated in animal models.”

So much of our eating is not related to hunger, he says. The more variety of foods available at a meal, the more likely you are to eat more food.

“The stress of a social setting and an environment with many food choices and alcohol will tend to foster overeating,” Cheskin says. “So these are good times to be on guard.”

3. Avoid alcohol

Alcohol is loaded with calories. And since “many holiday celebrations involve drinking, it’s easy to take in a lot of calories without being aware that you are,” says Scott Isaacs, MD, clinical instructor of medicine at Emory University and medical director at Intelligent Health Center. “Drink a glass of water or a diet soda before and after each alcoholic beverage to help pace yourself and to dilute calories,” says Isaacs, who is also the author of Hormonal Balance: Understanding Hormones, Weight and Your Metabolism.

4. Practice calorie damage control

“If you do overeat, don’t ‘fall off the wagon.'” says Isaacs. “Make up for it by cutting your calories for a few days and adding extra exercise.”

And get exercise in anywhere you can, says Giannetto. Take a brisk walk on your lunch break and after dinner. At work, use stairs rather than the elevator.

“When you get just 100 fewer calories per day through dieting and exercise or both, that is the equivalent of 10 pounds per year.”

5. Remember to have fun

“The main reason you’re at a party is to see people and celebrate, not to eat a lot of high-calorie foods,” says Cheskin. “So be aware of why you’re there and make that your focus.”

 

Here is a quick, easy and healthy 7 minute stir fry that you and your family can enjoy!

Eat This, Not That: Healthy Summer Snack IdeasIt’s easy to overindulge and gain weight during the summer months. Avoid undoing all of your hard work spent getting your body ready for warmer weather by enjoying lighter versions of your favorite summertime snacks. These great-tasting alternatives are just as delicious, and will help maintain your waistline.

 

Enjoy This: Pop Chips

Not This: Stacy’s Pita Chips

 

Pop Chips: Serving Size: 23 chips, 120 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 18 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 190 milligrams of sodium

Stacy’s Pita Chips: Serving size: 14 chips, 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 19 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, 140 milligrams of sodium

Enjoy This: Skinny Cow Fudge Bar

Not This: Häagen-Dazs Coffee Low Fat Frozen Yogurt

 

Skinny Cow: Serving Size: 1 bar, 100 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 22 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 45 milligrams of sodium

Häagen-Dazs: Serving Size: 1/2 cup, 200 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 31 grams of carbs, 0 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein, 50 milligrams of sodium

Enjoy This: Tostitos Salsa

Not This: Sabra Hummus

 

Tostitos Salsa: Serving Size: 2 tablespoons, 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 3 grams of carbs. 0.5 grams of fiber, 0.5 grams of protein, 210 milligrams of sodium

Sabra Hummus: Serving Size: 2 tablespoons, 70 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 4 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 120 milligrams of sodium

Enjoy This: F-Factor Banana Walnut Bar

Not This: Clif Bar Banana Nut Bread

 

F-Factor Banana Walnut Bar: Serving Size: 1 bar, 160 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 26 grams of carbs, 12 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, 25 milligrams of sodium

Clif Bar Banana Nut Bread: Serving Size: 1 bar, 240 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 42 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein, 180 milligrams of sodium

 

Article Consulted http://magazine.foxnews.com/food-wellness/healthy-summer-snack-alternatives#ixzz2Xz9kixJw

 

Simple Tips That Make Healthy Eating EasierThere are easy ways to cut back on unhealthy foods.  Here are a few easy tips to start loosing pounds without feeling deprived.

Have a glass of water before eating lunch and dinner. Gulp down a glass of water before your meal and after. This helps you feel more dehydrated which decreases your hunger. Additionally, water takes up room in your stomach. So when you actually start eating your meal, you will feel much fuller and be eating less.

Often, when we eat out at restaurant it is hard to make a healthy choice. We tend to rationalize eating an unhealthy meal simply because we are out at a restaurant for some sort of occasion.  Look at the restaurant’s menu online before you go out. Pick out a healthier choice before you walk in to the restaurant. This way, you don’t even need to look at the menu again. You are much less likely to impulsively order a burger if you have been thinking about a salmon salad. Remember that restaurant portions are usually way over the top. Consider asking your server for a to-go box before you finish the meal. This will help to ensure you don’t eat more just because the food is sitting in front of you.

Be aware of your portions. We often have no idea if we are consuming one portion or more. One serving of protein (chicken, salmon, etc) should be about the size of a deck of cards. One serving of bread is about the size of an I-phone. A serving of cheese is equivalent to three dice. Keep these rules in mind and know how much you are putting onto your plate.

If you are craving a snack, go for a fiber rich fruit. Consider keeping an apple with you during the day. An apple takes time to chew, so you have time to realize you are filling up before you have already over eaten.

Getting enough sleep (at least 8 hours) is proven to reduce random cravings for sweets and sugars.

Straight after dinner, brush your teeth. That minty freshness may stop you from rummaging through the cupboards at night.