Forget dieting to stay fit

Want to stay fit and look good? Well, then change your focus from dieting to living healthy during the holidays.

Stefanie Barthmare at the Methodist Weight Management Center in Houston says stop counting every calorie and restricting yourself from your holiday favourites and instead try focusing on the core elements of living a healthy lifestyle, i.e. staying active in your everyday life.

"If you can`t get to the gym, do whatever it takes to move your body. Walk the dog more, plan a walking coffee break at work, play in the yard with the kids after dinner, or throw the football around with your brothers," Barthmare said.

"Plan an active, rather than a passive vacation this holiday season. If you normally go somewhere to sit, read and eat, plan a trip where you hike, bike or ski. Learn a new sport just for fun, and notice the impact on your waistline," the psychotherapist said.

Another way to avoid overindulgence is to turn the focus of holiday gatherings away from food and to connecting with family and friends.

Put more emphasis on finding out what others have been doing, what you have in common and how you can support one another at holiday functions.

"If you`ve been dieting all year long, you`re going to want to cut loose during the holidays and indulge in all your favourite treats," Barthmare said.

"But, this year, try switching the focus. Eat well all year, keep your body moving and make time for connections. Then you can have some guilt free holiday indulgences without sacrificing the goal of maintaining your perfect weight," he said.


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