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You Don't Have to Gain Weight Over the Holidays

Updated on November 4, 2014

Are You Worried About Holiday Weight Gain

The holiday season is here. Halloween is barely in the rear view mirror; Thanksgiving is fast approaching and Christmas will be right around the corner with New Years right on it's heels.

The holidays, at least at our house, will bring numerous family gatherings, church functions and various holiday parties. And along with these festivities come all the decadent, calorie-laden treats that are so hard to resist.

If you are trying to lose weight or even just wanting to maintain your weight; it can become a minefield of temptation.

The Facts

You might think a few holiday pounds are nothing to worry about. But according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, most Americans never lose those holiday/winter pounds. Year after year, those pounds can add up, making holiday weight gain a significant factor in adult obesity.

Keeping things under control during these tempting times can be difficult but certainly not impossible. Arming yourself with some simple strategies can help you combat the urge to throw your self control out the window.

10 Strategies to Prevent Weight Gain

  1. Never Show Up Hungry - Having a plan ahead of the event can help you maintain your control. Try having a nutritious snack beforehand. And if you do arrive with a growling stomach, drink some water to curb your appetite before loading your plate.
  2. Concentrate Your Attention Elsewhere - Sometimes we forget that a holiday party is about something other than food. Spend more time enjoying the company of your family and friends. Focus on conversations and maybe even play some games; just keep your mind off the buffet table.
  3. Pace Yourself - Put your fork down between every bite and chew slowly. This can give you more control and chewing slower will fill you up with less food.
  4. Keep Track - When there are a lot of finger foods, it's easy to lose track of how much you are eating. Set a limit and stick to it.
  5. Be Buffet Smart - When eating from the buffet table, use the smallest plate available and limit your helpings by not stacking your food. Fill your plate with fresh fruits, vegetables and shrimp cocktail when available and limit sauces and dips.
  6. Limit Calorie Heavy Drinks - Avoid drinking your calories. Try sipping water or club soda, if you feel you need a drink in hand.
  7. Be Selective - When it comes to desert, eat only what truly appeals to you and choose small portions. If you can't decide on just one, you might try sampling several by taking a tiny bite of each.
  8. BYOT "Bring Your Own Treat" - Consider bringing your own healthy treat. Fruit salad can be very festive and healthy.
  9. Limit Sampling While Cooking - Limit mindless tasting while your cooking. Only taste when it's absolutely necessary and make it a small bite. This will keep you from filling up before the party starts and eliminate extra calories.
  10. Exercise - Make exercise a priority. Even if it's just for 15 minutes, get moving. Not only will you burn calories, exercise will help clear your mind and relieve stress.

Do the holidays stress you out?

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