8 Easy Steps to Thanksgiving Recovery

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Although travel is common during the holidays, avoid taking a guilt trip. If you do overdo a holiday meal or overindulge at your office holiday party, it can seem perfectly reasonable to polish off a bag of chips, cookies or candy because heck, what's a few more calories? But get over it and forgive yourself instead. Remember that emotions are just as big an eating trigger as physical hunger. Take a 10- to 20-minute time out to examine your feelings. If negativity seems to be fueling your urge to eat, try a healthy alternative such as exercise or meditation first. That's often enough to stave off cravings.

Tips to Avoid Thanksgiving Pounds

Sleep It Off

Nap to up your calorie burn. Studies show that chronic lack of sleep can slow down your metabolism by throwing your fat burning-and-storage hormones off kilter. Lack of sleep also can make you feel hungry even when you're not while lowering your defenses so you're more likely to give into Christmas cookies. Of course, it's harder to get rest during the holidays, but even a 15-minute nap will increase your anti-pigout powers.

Give Back

It takes a little charity sometimes to remind you that the holidays are not only about gluttony. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, donate your leftovers or collect gently used clothing for those in need. Reaching out to your community and providing for those less fortunate is a wonderful way to focus on something that is productive and doesn't involve excess calories.

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