SOURCE: American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons

December 19, 2007 04:00 ET

ASBPS Can Help You Win the Battle of the Bulge During the Holidays

LAGUNA BEACH, CA--(Marketwire - December 19, 2007) - During the holiday season, you can expect two things to add up -- shopping bills and pounds. In fact, many of us revelers will have added an average of five pounds of excess baggage by the time January 2 arrives. There are two ways to boost your chances of keeping those extra pounds off. You can burn excess calories by increasing the amount of time you spend battling crowds in shopping malls. Or you can modify your eating habits. This doesn't mean starve yourself. Such a drastic measure almost always leads to binge eating the moment you decide to put something into your stomach.

The American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons (ASBPS), a powerful resource for individuals requiring post-bariatric treatment, is offering a full menu of common sense solutions for those who want to win the battle of the bulge. The ASBPS recommends that you follow the following guidelines for healthful weight management during the holidays and all year long.

Pre-Meal Strategies

Drink low-calorie fluids and/or water to help fill you up, postpone eating long enough to skip a meal, and be the last at the buffet table so that there are far fewer fattening temptations left.

Light and Lean

Opt for lean meats such as skinless chicken, and turkey. If too bland, spice it up or buy the smoked variety. Balsamic vinegar is preferred over oil for flavoring. If the latter must be used, go with olive oil.

Fish is also a winner anytime. For maximum pleasure and to avoid the "fishy taste," buy it fresh with the skin removed and wash the catch in cold water and season well. Smoked fish also makes an excellent, low-cal entrée.

Non-fat cereal, fresh fruit, and veggies are always a smart choice. Potatoes should be whole, not mashed, with sweet potatoes ranking the highest. Use your favorite seasonings.

What you drink demands the same common sense approach as what you eat. Diet beverages and low or non-fat milk will help keep the calories from piling up. Try limiting your alcohol intake by adding more mixer to cocktails, opting for light beer, and watering down wine to reduce calories, as well as make it colder.

Safe Snacking

For snack attacks, replace chips with the far less fatty pretzels. And if you must give in to your sweet tooth, don't rely on labels. Check the fat and calorie content of those delectable goodies for yourself.

What to Avoid or Limit

In order to reduce calorie and fat intake, certain items should be avoided or at least strictly limited. Among the most notorious culprits are butter, fried foods, sodium, and sugar. Remember, excessive sugar can cause what is known as the rebound effect. And go easy on the salt, as well. Sodium is an appetite stimulant. Large amounts of this ingredient can even be 'hidden' in various foods, including certain cereals. So be on the lookout.

Additional Tips

--  Eating - Do this slowly, and if possible, with a companion. Hopefully,
    this will lead to more talking and less eating. You may also be too
    embarrassed to over-indulge if somebody else is watching.
--  Exercising - Better after a meal to curb appetite. If you're in the
    right environment, grab a shovel and start clearing away mounds of snow.
    Stay too busy to eat.
--  Easing Into It - Transition into your new dining habits. Don't jump
    from whole milk to non-fat in a week. After several weeks of transitioning,
    whole milk will seem as rich as eggnog.
--  Escaping the TV Trap - Limit your viewing, and you'll significantly
    cut down your exposure to all those tempting food commercials. It's also a
    good idea to avoid the food section and grocery ads in your local

And if all else fails...

The ASBPS offers you easy access to many highly qualified plastic surgeons who can help you look and feel best with a variety of modern lipo or body contouring treatments.

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