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We are SMACK-DAB in the middle of the holiday season. Here are some survival tips to keep you going...   

1. Stay active! Don't sit on the couch like a slug all day, chomping on chocolate Santas. Take a walk. If there's snow, take some kids (young relatives, friends' kids, your own kids) out sledding. Find ways to burn additional calories to make up for the extra chewing you're probably doing.

2. The big meal(s)... don't overdo it. This is definitely a time of celebration, so you should enjoy yourself. There IS, however, a big difference between "enjoying" and "gorging". Make sure you balance out portions of your favorites with other lighter options. And what do we always say? Eat lots of lean protein and plenty of veggies!

3. Food gift advice. People LOVE to give edible holiday gifts, whether it's a tin of cookies or a homemade fruitcake. This is nice, but don't feel like you need to eat it ALL. If you're an out-of-town guest, plead "no room in the luggage" and give it away to a pal. If you're at home, have a little party and set out all the goodies people gave you.

4. Holiday shopping. Mall-crawling can be SO exhausting -- all the people and the lights and the sales and the shoving. Eventually, you're going to get worn out and need to eat. Don't dive into a pile of food court fried rice or some greasy burger. Most malls have a Subway or some kind of sandwich shop. Stick with lean proteins and greens. And go easy on the dressing. Click here (and scroll) for more mall tips.

5. Drink lots of water! If you don't, you'll likely get cranky, mistake thirst for hunger, and make bad decisions. By drinking a lot of water, you'll be fully hydrated AND you won't feel like you need to eat everything you see.

6. Leftovers?! They're a joy and a burden, especially if the big meal was at your place. Try to hand off the heavier foods to your guests before they leave. (HG Tip! Stock up on those cheapie disposable containers!) And freeze whatever you have too much of instead of trying to swallow it all before it goes bad.

7. Watch the calories you drink, party animal. Celebrating is fun, but try and keep your beverages on the lighter side. Eggnog may be a time-honored tradition, but it's also traditionally LOADED with fat and calories. Keep it simple with cocktails made from seltzer or diet soda and a shot of vodka or rum -- skip juice-based drinks and heavy liquors. Check out our Holiday Cocktail Round-Up for a few good drink ideas.

8. Sneak in swaps wherever you can by bringing a guilt-free option or two for the holiday feast. Make sure your contribution is delicious (otherwise you'll be wildly unpopular) but low enough in fat and calories that you can indulge in it. We suggest a heaping bowl of our Miracle Mashies, our tasty Merry Marinated Veggies, or the perennial classic, Rockin' Lean Bean Casserole. Mmmmm!

Have an AWESOME and FANTASTIC holiday season!
Friday, December 19th, is Oatmeal Muffin Day. Click 'n scroll for HG's 80-calorie Peachy Keen Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins. TOO GOOD!
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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints® trademark.

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