Tips to stay slim this season

The Christmas holiday usually signals quality time with family, gift giving, and an abundance of food.  With the days getting darker and colder earlier most people are likely to stay in doors, exercise less, and consume more food. <--break->“> With big holiday meals, portions, and desserts galore it is almost impossible to avoid gaining a few extra kilos but here are a few tips to stay slim this season.</p>

<p>Replace crisps or chips with finger foods like carrot sticks or other chopped veggies and a low fat dip.  Guests will never notice and you can eat as many as you want without feeling guilty.  </p>

<p>For desserts substitute half a portion of oil with applesauce, use egg whites instead of yokes, use whole-wheat flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, and agave syrup for natural sweetener to replace sugar.  Or, try serving low fat ice cream or frozen yoghurt.  Vegan desserts are also usually lower in calories and serve as a healthy alternative to fattening Christmas platters. However, fruit is the healthiest alternative possible!</p>

<p>Although turkey and ham are generally part of the holiday feast, adding a few fresh seafood options to the menu will help reduce extra calories as well.  Fish or prawns are light and can be served with brown rice.  If you are eating turkey, stick to the white meat and avoid eating the skin that is high in fat. </p>

<p>Make a hearty salad.  Salads are commonly mistaken as boring side dishes but can be easily spruced up and made into a filling main course meal.  Add your favourite vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and diced chicken breast to a bed of lettuce and lightly season with lemon juice.  </p>

<p>Drink soy or skim milk instead of whole milk.</p>

<p>Look for low-carb pastas or whole-wheat pasta and bread.</p>

<p>Try eating high protein breakfasts like plain oatmeal lightly seasoned with brown sugar or honey, sprinkled with raw almonds.</p>

<p>Add a little milk to your coffee or tea instead of creamer.  And instead of over indulging in fruity cocktails, limit your beverages and mix alcoholic drinks with tonic water or diet-cranberry juice.</p>

<p>Need to make a trip to the grocery store?  Instead of taking the bus or driving, grab a family member, friend, or neighbour and walk.  The Kingston market place also has an array of fresh vegetables, fruit, fish, and deli produce.</p>

<p>You don’t have to starve to stay slim this holiday, just be aware of the alternative! </p>

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