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Have a Happy Holiday Without Tipping the Scale

11/19/2013 01:34 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

The holidays are upon us, which means tasty temptations are decking the halls. Often, our weight tends to creep up this time of year, and come January, we start feeling a bit like that plump Thanksgiving turkey! This season, as you pass the mashed potatoes and gravy, you can also pass on holiday weight gain if you just burn off that bird before you gobble it up. After all, you owe it to yourself after your hard work all year!

For me, it's not all about calories in but more about calories out. I find that if I just sprinkle 5-10 more minutes of exercise into my days, I can still enjoy that slice of pie without looking like a pumpkin. You should not deprive yourself of a seasonal splurge, but practicing moderation is the key. If you notice those holiday cookies lingering, just get out and move! By expending a few more calories, you can get back on track and start the New Year looking fit and fabulous.

Here are five simple ways to ward off holiday weight gain:

1) Go for an evening stroll. Take a 10-minute walk after dinner and check out all the holiday lights in the neighborhood. Too nippy outside? Run up and down the stairs in your house 10 times or jog in place and do jumping jacks while you watch TV.

2) Stimulate your other senses. The holidays are about more than taste alone! Fill your home with pine boughs, cranberry or gingerbread scented candles, and twinkle lights to provide sensory satisfaction without eating to feel merry.

3) Get out and enjoy the winter wonderland. Take the whole family on a fun outdoor activity like snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or ice skating. According to CalorieLab, a 150-pound woman can burn 476 calories during one hour of snowshoeing.

4) Cut the holiday stress. Stress and weight gain go hand in hand -- because when we feel stressed out we eat to soothe our mental state. According to Psychology Today, a whopping 40 percent of respondents reported dealing with stress by overeating or eating unhealthy foods. So instead of de-stressing with your favorite bag or carton of comfort food in front of the television, work out holiday stress by doing yoga or listening to music.

5) Add burst of strength training in the morning and evening. It is a great way to start and end your day and allows you to make time for yourself. Among the hustle and bustle of the season, it can be hard to carve out a full 30-60 minutes to exercise so work in short bursts of activity to boost metabolism.

Here is a quick toning workout you can do in five minutes, while you've got those tasty holiday treats baking in the oven:

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