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Issue Date: October 2008

Food Fight

Brace yourself. The next 10 weeks will be filled with super-size holiday meals, precious little time to exercise and plenty of sweet treats. But that doesn’t have to mean packing on holiday pounds, says Leigh Taylor, a personal trainer at LifeWorks of Southwest General.

“So much of what we do is focused on eating as a social activity,” says Taylor. “We have to stop thinking this way and look at eating [as a way] to fuel our bodies.” She suggests starting new holiday traditions centered on physical activity, such as a Halloween hide-and-seek, Thanksgiving touch football or ice skating on Christmas Eve.

The holidays are not the time to try to lose weight — “just maintain and be happy with that,” Taylor says — but focus on food moderation and “adding activity whenever and wherever possible.” Here are some of her holiday-season activity tips:

Season Activity

Calories Burned*

Trick-or-treating with the kids

342 calories/2 hours

Raking leaves

202 calories/45 minutes

Fall trail hike

306 calories/45 minutes

Fall bike ride

134 calories/30 minutes

Window shopping

171 (slow) to 236 (moderate) calories/hour

Shoveling snow

188 calories/30 minutes

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