Achieving balance during the holidays.

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve! Oh my! How did Dorothy keep her girlish figure during the holidays? Jazzercise! She and her gaggle of friends danced down the yellow brick road to the hip tunes of the day. Well, that and she didn’t have multiple family gatherings and office parties with tempting high calorie treats to increase her waistline. But if Dorothy and her merry band did participate in the year-end food-o-rama, they’d provide the following tips for enjoying the holiday season without gaining weight.

“We've been walking a long ways.” ~ Dorothy Gale

The trek to the Emerald City was accomplished by walking every single day. And research from the National Health Services shows that walking 10,000 steps a day will significantly improve your health. Whether you walk, jog, bicycle or swim, daily physical activity will relieve stress and burn up extra calories and can balance out some holiday meals.

My, my goodness -- I can talk again!” ~ Tin Woodsman

Although food can be a big part of the season, it doesn’t have to be the focus. Holidays are a wonderful time to reunite with your buddies, share stories and give thanks. Friends have (healthy) benefits, so take advantage of the gathering to speak from the heart and offer a tasteful toast to your friends:

You are unique, morals sublime.
Character rich, one of a kind.

Ain't it the truth!” ~ Cowardly Lion

A realistic goal is weight maintenance versus weight loss during the holidays. Make reasonable food choices and you’ll succeed – the foundation of the Weight Watchers food plan. If you’re still worried about the tempting treats, avoid arriving famished at the celebration. Have the courage to eat a light meal before leaving the house – a cup of soup or cheese and crackers on the stomach can help you resist sampling everything at a potluck party.

Oh, joy, rapture! I've got a brain!” ~ Scarecrow

It’s okay to eat. Remember moderation. And there are plenty of low fat and low calorie recipes posted online that are truly tasty. Try using applesauce in place of oil in your favorite holiday breads or make pumpkin brownies, which are yummy and contain fiber – a helpful tip from

To find the Wizard of Oz and achieve their heart’s desire, Dorothy and her friends possessed the necessary resources: brains, heart and courage. You, too, can use your brain to avoid known personal food triggers, talk from your heart to reconnect with your friends and have the courage to exercise in order to enjoy the holiday season without gaining weight.

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