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Choose moderation this holiday.

Choose moderation this holiday.

As people across the country learn more about the complex relationship between nutrition and the brain, many are becoming mindful of their diets. But, if you've recently committed to a healthier lifestyle, how will your new mindset compete with a holiday centered around food-based abundance?

Expert dietitian Cindy Pearlman of LifeGoesStrong.com has a bit of advice to help you navigate this culinary event, and most of it can be applied to your everyday eating habits.

First: Don't skip meals. You may think that forgoing breakfast and lunch will lower your calorie count for the day, but this isn't so, says Pearlman. Instead, by starving yourself early on, you're more likely to binge on a plate of turkey. Plus, your inactive metabolism will hardly be prepared to put all those carbs to good use.

Second: Find time to exercise. Numerous studies have shown that consistent exercise promotes cognitive function as well as physical stamina as you age. If you can find the time (and motivation) to sneak off for a quick jog, even when your home is buzzing with family and friends, you will probably be able to do so on a regularly basis.

Third: Take the focus off the food. Pearlman suggests that you incorporate various activities – card games, an outdoor excursion, you name it – so that the elaborate feast doesn't dominate the day. This idea can also be applied to your daily life. For instance, if you turn to sugary snacks to reward yourself for an accomplishment, consider replacing this tradition with an enjoyable experience instead, like a concert or trip to a rock climbing gym.

By working in regular exercise and turning your mind from what you can't eat, you may see greater success in your weight loss efforts, no matter what caloric delights are thrust upon you come Turkey Day.

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