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Watch Mark Macdonald on Headline News show you how to work out smarter not harder during the holiday season

Preventing the "Holiday 10"

When January rolls around and diet season begins, you start to focus on losing all your holiday excess baggage. This year, instead of just treading water with your weight, how about preventing the dreaded "Holiday 10" and taking on the New Year while feeling awesome in the process? Here's how to halt the Holiday binge fest now and make December a fun, festive and fat blasting month!

Tip 1 - Maintenance is a great thing!

Think about previous holiday seasons. Did you over-do it and tell yourself that you'll get back on track in January or did you suffer through the holidays avoiding the delicious food to keep progressing with your health goals? Both of these options are less than desirable. If you really want to win with your health this holiday season, it's time to focus on surviving December and maintaining your weight. This will allow you to eat a lot of the foods you love. Then you can counter any excess calories with Tips 2 and 3 below.

Tip 2 - Remember to Eat in 3's.

Simply eat a meal every 3 hours with a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates (about 5-6 small meals a day). For women, portion sizes are as easy as a palm of protein, a fist full of carbs and a tip of thumb size portion of fat. For men, aim for one and a half to two palms of protein, two fists of carbs and a full thumb portion of fat. This way of eating keeps your blood sugar balanced. Stable blood sugar prevents your body from burning muscle when you skip meals (skipping meals slows down your metabolism) and prevents your body from storing fat when you overeat.

Here's a great visual of your portion sizes:

Tip 3 - Awareness keeps you in the Game.

We all know that we should be more active. The great news is that there are now really cool and simple fitness gadgets that help you track your daily steps, miles walked, calories burned, hours of sleep and even your meals. Many of these gadgets have a social component too, so you can use them to engage in healthy competition with your friends. All you do is wear a wrist band and all the data it gathers syncs wirelessly with your smartphone or tablet. These gadgets work for all ages too, catch my 71 year old mom on the go and you'll see even she uses one! They even make great Christmas gifts! Here are a few of my favorite fitness gadgets: Bowflex Boost, Fit Bit Flex & Force, Jawbone Up, and Nike Fuel.

The holidays are meant to be savored. With a little awareness, you can easily enjoy your family, friends and festivities while starting off 2014 strong!

Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday!

Big Hugs,

Mark Macdonald

Creator of the Venice Nutrition Program and Author of NY Times Bestseller Body Confidence

What's Cooking in our Kitchen?

by Head Chef Valerie Cogswell

Sometimes a simple side dish is all you need to complete a meal. Mascarpone and Honey Whipped Sweet Potatoes are just special enough to entertain with and healthy enough to serve alongside your favorite proteins all week long. For this recipe and more, Login Now >

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