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Brace Yourselves; Winter Is Coming.

We’re “entering the most dangerous time of the year,” reports Medical News Today. It’s the holiday season, a time when we gather together for family visits, warm memories, and giving of gifts. Statistically, it’s also the time when Americans tend to lose all the ground they’ve made over the year when it comes to weight loss.

September is when people seem to be in their best shape, the article says. While New Year resolutions start us in the right direction at the year’s beginning, and summer activities keep us busy, the turkey, ham, and cookies tend to bring us right back to square one by year’s end. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

“It is very possible to survive and even thrive during the holiday season if you recognize the pitfalls and plan ahead,” say Dian Griesel, Ph.D. and Tom Griesel and authors of the new book, TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (April 2011, BSH). “The secret to navigating holidays is to set a goal that allows you to participate without all the collateral damage that usually occurs.”

Such goals might include setting a number of pounds to lose by the end of the year, or fitting into a new outfit for the corporate Christmas party. We’ve put together a few tips to help you evade the holiday potholes on the road to a happy, healthy life:

  • Share your goal with your friends. They’ll be a great source of support and accountability as you navigate the holiday season.
  • Try low-calorie recipes. Search the Web for healthy alternatives to some of the fattier foods that circulate this time of year.
  • Celebrate! If you’ve had a successful year of weight loss, make the holidays extra special. Throw a party with your supportive friends, and don’t forget to show off how great you look in your family Christmas card photos!

How do you plan to celebrate the season? Leave us a comment!