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7 Tips for avoiding holiday weight gain

By Vicki Hackman

Sugar- and fat-laden desserts, party noshes and sauces, second (and third) cocktails. . . Add reduced exercise and increased stress to the mix, and you've got a recipe for weight gain. From Thanksgiving through the early New Year, even the most disciplined athlete can struggle to hold the line against extra pounds. Use these tips to devise your defense plan.

1. Remember to hydrate. Proper hydration is always important, but during the holidays it can be a valuable ally. Aim to drink two full glasses of water before you leave for that holiday feast or party to help curb your appetite and counteract the dehydrating effect of alcohol. Throughout the day, every day, drink 0.5-0.6 ounces of pure clean water per pound of your body weight.

2. Rein in appetite. Don't wait until Thanksgiving morning to fight your appetite. Get a jump on cravings now with Appestat. Appestat safely suppresses appetite and increases carbohydrate metabolism without the use of harmful stimulants. It also contains a plant-based precursor of serotonin, which may enhance sleep quality and reduce sugar cravings. Take 1-2 capsules an hour before lunch and dinner; use in cycles of three weeks on, and one week off.

3. Easy on the cocktails. Alcoholic beverages contain calories but few nutrients. Alcohol also lowers inhibition, making you more likely to just say yes to all the wrong foods. If being a teetotaler isn't realistic, limit calories by choosing infused vodka instead of a chocolate martini; or sip hot tea with a little brandy instead of having a brandy Alexander. Alternate drinks with glasses of water or mineral water.

4. More green. Be proactive. Instead of wondering whether to have salty, starchy nachos or high-fat Brie at get-togethers, show up with a veggie tray of raw broccoli and a yogurt-based dip, stuffed cherry tomatoes, or kale wraps. These veggies are loaded with nutrients and fiber, yet low in calories.

5. Less white. In the buffet line, skip or go easy on sauces, gravies, and dressings. By all means avoid refined, starchy carbs like bread, chips, white rice, and pasta. On those rare times when you know you'll indulge, be sure to take Phytolean. It blocks the digestion of starchy carbs, enhances fat burning, and optimizes blood sugar levels.

6. Opt for lean proteins. Choose white turkey meat (breast), not dark (legs), with a splash of broth, not gravy. At parties, go for the steamed shrimp or a small handful of roasted nuts (just one handful!).

7. Get your ZZZs. Research has shown that not getting those 8 hours of sleep can affect your body's insulin and ghrelin levels, leading to overeating. Ensure a full night of quality, restful sleep by taking 2 REM Caps an hour before bedtime. Made only with natural ingredients, REM Caps improves sleep quality and duration, enhances growth hormone release, and helps your immune system stay strong.

Note: Our cookbook In the Kitchen with Hammer Nutrition includes dozens of delicious, healthful, and easy to make recipes perfect for the holidays and all year-round.
Download your FREE copy now!