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Stay in shape despite temptations
santa and exercise
This holiday season, try measuring your portions and drinking water before you grab a plate at your next holiday party. - photo by Stock photo

Cooler weather, family gatherings and delicious food make the holidays the best time of year, but they also can be trouble for those looking to maintain their weight-loss and fitness goals.
Curves International fitness director Katie Mitchell and registered dietitian Amanda Turner offer the following tips to stay on track with food and health goals:
• Eat before heading to a party. Never go to a party hungry. Eating a high-fiber or protein-based snack like a turkey roll-up and an apple will help fill you up and ensure your blood-sugar levels stay consistent, which will thwart calorie-laden overindulgences. Slather a teaspoon or two of whole-grain mustard on 4 ounces of sliced turkey, roll it up and enjoy. Slice up an apple if you are still hungry.
• At the party, make sure to drink a glass of water before you grab a plate.
• Bring your own healthy item. When you are invited to a party, take a healthy dish to contribute. This will ensure there is at least one healthy food option at the party.
• Measure your portions. Using measuring cups and spoons rather than eye-balling and guessing will help with portion control. If you are out and about and can’t measure, use these basic measurement estimators: A fist is equivalent to 1 cup; your palm is equivalent to the size of a 4 ounce meat portion; the tip of your thumb is about the size of 1 tablespoon; the tip of your pinky finger is roughly 1 teaspoon; and one serving of fruit is about the size of a tennis ball.
• Keep a food diary. Keeping a food diary — either online or in a journal — can help you keep track of your weight-loss goals. In fact, some research has shown that those who keep a food journal lose up to twice as much weight. Recording your food intake also can help you think twice about that extra serving of mashed potatoes at dinner. Be sure to enter your food intake online right after a meal or event.
• Avoid liquid calories. Liquid calories do not satisfy your hunger as much as solid foods. It is best to choose calorie-free beverages like water, unsweetened tea, black coffee and seltzer water. If you plan to drink alcohol, limit yourself to one 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer or a small cocktail containing 1 ounce of liquor. If you prefer mixed drinks, try a calorie-free mixer like soda water with lemon or lime wedges, Crystal Light or diet soda.
• Add activity. Look for efficient and effective workouts. Try a fitness program that combines strength training with cardio — you need it all in order to strengthen the heart and lungs, protect and increase muscle, burn fat and promote flexibility.
“While we are here for our members year-round, we know how hectic and tempting the holiday season can be. At Curves, our members can get the help they need to stay on track with their weight-loss and fitness goals,” Curves of Hinesville owner Peggy McRae said. “In particular, Curves Complete offers weekly check-ins to help keep members accountable to a coach and to themselves, which we know to be a valuable tool for success.”
For more information, contact a Curves staffer at 876-6615 or

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