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The holidays are HERE. Get through the next week without resorting to Scrooge-like, no-cookies, no-fun, "Bah! Humbug!" behavior. You can do it. We've got some tips to get you from now through New Year's... 
Five Crucial Holiday Party Strategies

1. Write it down. Whether it's on a cocktail napkin or later in a notebook, the mere thought of scribbling "25 Hershey's Kisses and 11 bacon-wrapped shrimp" is enough to help us make better decisions.

2. Make exercising earlier in the day a priority. Then you'll have a little wiggle room to indulge in small amounts of your favorite holiday foods. Even if you don't usually exercise, think about it -- you don't usually eat chocolate Santas and frosted sugar cookies either.

3. Eat a light snack before you go. That way you won't feel quite so tied to the hors d'oeuvre table, and you'll be free to mingle without hunger pangs.

4. Take it all in with your eyes before you pounce. Look closely at what's being offered -- then pick out a couple of your favorite high-calorie options and have a small serving of each. Fill up on lighter stuff, like veggie sticks with salsa and shrimp cocktail.

5. Watch those drinks! Many holiday sips -- especially creamy, spiked ones -- can easily pack in 500 calories per glass! Better choices? A small glass of wine, a flute of champagne, or a mixed drink made with one shot of alcohol and a no-calorie mixer like seltzer or diet soda. And drink LOTS of water!


How Many Calories Are YOU Burning This Season?

We visited the Fitness Partner website to calculate how many calories a 160-lb. person could burn doing some super-common holiday-time activities. (Click here to figure out the exact numbers for your body weight!)

Spending all your time cleaning in preparation for houseguests, party-goers, and annoying neighbors who just want to re-gift a fruitcake? Half an hour of general house cleaning burns about 110 calories, and the same amount of time spent vacuuming burns around 130 cals. And if you have trouble convincing yourself to shovel the driveway, know that a half-hour of that will burn about 220 calories. (Don't forget your snow boots!)

Running around prepping a meal? Food shopping will burn about 85 calories in half an hour. And once you get home, moving around the kitchen and cooking will burn around 140 calories an hour. Yet another reason to do the work yourself.

Got a house of buzzing kids "full of holiday cheer"? (Read: "fueled by hot cocoa, marshmallows, and cookies.") Consider this: A half-hour of high-energy playing with the kids will burn about 180 calories, the same amount as a half-hour of low-impact aerobics. Going sledding or ice skating for 30 minutes burns the same 255 calories or so as 30 minutes of moderate cycling on a stationary bike. Reading, watching TV, or sleeping, however, won't burn more than about 35 calories per half-hour. You decide...


Swaps for Your Holiday Faves...

Bacon-Bundled BBQ Shrimp - You know how we mentioned bacon-wrapped shrimp before? Eat these without fear.

The Big Apple French Toast Casserole - Make this for the family in the morning, and you'll have a happy household all day long.

Snack-tastic Holiday Mix - Let auld Chex Mix be forgot and never brought to mind once you taste this stuff.

Crazy-Creamy Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms - Expect a LOT more party invites once you show up with a tray of these...

Miracle Mashies - If fluffy spuds are a family staple, try this no-guilt version. It's GREAT!

Pumpkin-licious Nog - Your relatives will be BEGGING for the recipe. (Give it to them. 'Tis the season.)

Crazy-Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip - Guests will LOVE this (aptly named) crazy-creamy dip!

Winter Wonderland Peppermintini - This frosty white cocktail ROCKS!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge - Prepare to find yourself under the mistletoe a few times if you make this fudgy treat...


HG ON VACAY! We'll be back on Monday the 4th with our regularly scheduled HG News. 'Til then, you can get your HG fix by visiting our Facebook fan page and by following HG's Lisa on Twitter. Have a safe, happy, and AWESOME holiday season. XOXO -- Lisa & the HG Team :)
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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.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.

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