Curbing Holiday Weight Gain

The holidays are a time to celebrate and spend time with family and friends alike.  However, the holiday season and winter months often bring more high calorie “party” and “comfort” foods to the table and less physical activity which can result in weight gain.

To help curb holiday weight gain, concentrate on family, friends, and reasons for celebrating the holidays, rather than what kind and how good the foods served will be.   In other words, shift the focus of your holiday celebration away from food and more on the people you are celebrating with.   Use these tips to make your holiday celebrations a little easier on your waistline:

  • Plan before you feast. If you are going to a holiday party, don’t go on an empty stomach. Skipping meals may cause you to overindulge. Instead, eat small amounts of healthful foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, cereal, yogurt, or a small wrap or sandwich before the event.  Once you arrive at the party, look at the foods being served and decide what you will eat ahead of time.  This will help you maintain control of your eating while still enjoying your favorite
  • Avoid extra calories from drinks. Alcoholic drinks and other holiday favorites like eggnog taste great but provide extra calories and few nutrients.  One 6 oz. glass of wine has 150 calories, and an 8 oz. glass of eggnog provides 350 calories!  In addition, regular sodas contain on average, 140 calories per can.  Consider limiting these high calorie beverages so that you can save some of them for the meal.
  • Be a healthy helper. One way to ensure that a healthy option will be available at the party is to offer to prepare and bring a dish.  Your host will appreciate your help and you will have one dish that is a healthy alternative.
  • Stick to your routine. The holiday season can be challenging for anyone trying to maintain their weight, but especially so for a person trying to lose weight. Do your best to stick to your routine during the holiday season. Continue to be physically active as much as possible, ideally for 30 minutes five days per week. Maintain your healthy eating habits at home by focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, and low-fat or fat-free milk products.

Use these tips to curb holiday weight gain while still enjoying your favorite foods in moderation.  Remember to focus on friends and family and stick to your routine to celebrate holidays now and for many years to come.

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