Avoiding holiday weight gain

Avoiding holiday weight gain

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

It's easy to pack on the pounds during the holidays.  If you're not careful, they'll creep up on you.  That's why personal trainer, Robert House, is sharing his expert advice for maintaining or losing weight in December.

 "When you get around friends and everyone is enjoying themselves, everybody tends to eat and eat and eat and eat and they're not aware of how many calories they're taking in," House said.

One way you can avoid eating unhealthy foods at a Christmas party is to snack before you go.  You can also download an app on your smartphone that will help you keep track of how many calories you are taking in each day.

"They're real good because you can type in the food that you're eating or taking in and it will break down calories, saturated fat, sugar, things like that," House said.

House also advises you eat 3 to 5 small meals a day and make sure they include lots of vegetables and protein like grilled chicken or fish.

Exercise is also key when it comes to weight loss and weight maintenance.

"The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you're going to burn at rest," House said.

Cardiovascular exercises like walking or running will start burning stored fat.  After that, you can add some resistance training like pushups or dumbbell exercises.  The resistance training will help build lean muscle mass and will eventually burn more calories.

 House says it is also a good idea to consult with your doctor before you start a new exercise program.

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