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Gobble it up ... guilt-free! Grandma stuffing you full of stuffing? Fruitcakes flying at your face? Here's how to keep your holidays happy ... and off your hips.

It's a fact: From Thanksgiving on, 'tis the time to be merry and pig out! Creamy mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet pumpkin pie, Great Aunt Gertrude's famous chocolate yule log ... Who can resist? And, we hate to be the ones to tell you this, girl friend, but getting in and out of the car on your way to parties does not count as regular exercise.

Add all that up, and you're pretty much guaranteeing every sweet, sticky, sugary thing you're too gracious to turn down will be settling in on your thighs for a long winter's nap. The good news is that we're here to coach ya on how to enjoy the holiday goodie season--without looking like a stuffed turkey come New Year's Eve.

MUNCH BEFORE YOU MINGLE

According to recent studies, you'll feel fuller--and eat less later--if you first have a meal of water-filled foods like fruits, vegetables and soup. So if you know your BFF's idea of a holiday spread includes frosted sugar cookies and candy canes, have a salad and a bowl of chicken-noodle before you leave for her bash. Then, nibble a gingerbread man guilt-free.

BUFFET BUFFERS

Scientists have discovered an amazing fact: The more food you have in front of you, the more food you'll eat! Enter your healthful-holiday nemesis: the buffet table! Loaded up with a million things to munch, no wonder your stomach seems to suddenly double in size, allowing you to make two, or even three, trips for plate refills. But, trust us, eating three meals in one sitting isn't a good idea (major stomach ache, anyone?).

How do you beat the buffet binge habit? When ambling over to the table, aim to put food on your plate, then move away. Lingering by the line only allows you time to pile on more grub. And if you must return, follow the three-three rule: You get three more items, and fill up your plate only a third of the way.

PILE IT ON WITH A PURPOSE

You wander around the party. There's a basket of tortilla chips here and a plate of brownies there. Then, someone walks by and offers you an egg roll. Instead of reaching for every sausage puff in your path, make an attempt to go for just the good stuff. Be on the lookout for smart choices, like a vitamin-rich broccoli spear, or pick up a pita chip and dip it in protein-packed hummus. You really can satisfy your body's nutritional needs, as well as your cravings.

It pays to watch portion sizes too. Tempted by all three of your mom's mouth-watering desserts? Hey, that's fine! Help yourself to all of them, but serve up just a quarter of a slice or a spoonful of each. The idea is to aim for taste, not to stuff your face.

Also, watch for hidden holiday calories. Festive drinks, like hot chocolate, eggnog and punches, can be calorie-packed. Just sample a few sips, then quench your thirst with water.

BE THE LIFE OF THE PARTY

Don't sit there. Walk around, mingle and dance. You'll eat less and burn more calories. And you'll have more fun!

Q&A

Every party I go to, people want me to pig out, How can I refuse politely?

Just explain that your belly needs a breather from the eating marathon it's been on. Your family may not be convinced and may still try to foist more goodies on you, but strangers will probably pass the party tray on to someone else. If you're being pestered by an especially persistent relative (think Grandma and her famous fruitcake), sweetly take a sliver. Be sure Grandma sees you take a ceremonial first bite, and don't forget to gush over how absolutely deeelish it is. Then dump the rest in a poinsettia when she's not looking (kidding, of course).

HIGH-VOLTAGE HOLIDAY MOVES

You've got gifts to buy, finals to study for and parties galore. Who has time to work out? You do! Quash some of those extra calories you're taking in by sneaking in two or three of these mini calorie-burning routines each day.

* Wake your bod in the a.m. March in place, reaching hands up and down, for two full minutes. Lift knees higher, arm punches, 20 times. Kick legs and swing arms in synch 20 times. Jog in place one minute. Do 10 jumping jacks. Jog for one minute. Ten more jumping jacks. Again, march-and-reach for two minutes

* Turn school steps into a gym, During lunch break, walk up and down as many flights as you can for 10 minutes.

* Dance. Groove to four songs after school each day.

* Fat-burn the old-fashioned way. Clean your room! Grab a vacuum, dust shelves, scrub whatever--and put some elbow grease into it.

* Watch TV. During ads, march in place one minute, do 15 jumping jacks, another minute of marching, 10 squats, 10 alternating knee lifts, 10 kicks.

* Jump rope while your sis hogs the iMac. March in place, reaching hands up and down for three minutes. Jump rope for six minutes. March-and-reach for three minutes to cool down.
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Article Details
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Author:Heaner, Martica
Publication:Girls' Life
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2004
Words:847
Previous Article:10 fab ways to go glam: create your own sizzling red carpet look.
Next Article:A night to remember: think setting out a bowl of Doritos, cranking up the tunes and stringing streamers in the basement add up to party time? Neh.
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