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A Few Simple Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

So many of us gain weight during the holiday season (or, at the very least, don’t lose weight).  Given the alarming statistics regarding holiday season weight gain, I thought we should look at just a few of the simple things you can do to fight the battle of the Christmas cookie bulge.  *Some experts say that the average American gains seven pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s day.  Yikes!  Other reports state that half of all annual weight gain comes during the holiday season.  Is that surprising?  I mean, how often is a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner salads and green smoothies?!  It may not be that much weight gain for most of us, but why gain any weight at all?!  Woman Standing on Scale

  1. At parties and holiday gatherings, choose just one indulgence item so you don’t feel deprived, but you don’t overdo it either.  Rather than the rolls, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pie, cake, cookies, AND candies, you just pick the one you like the most and have it.
  2. Exercise before going to holiday gatherings –  A good workout revs your metabolism for several hours afterwards allowing you to burn the extra calories more efficiently.  However, don’t use the fact that you worked out to eat even more than you already would have.
  3. Be social without the food – Occupy yourself in conversation with friends and family or play games with the kids and you won’t be wandering to the food table.  *Or do anything else that keeps you occupied and not eating (or drinking).
  4. Don’t stand near the food or within direct sight of it.  When you are near the holiday spread (especially the dessert table), you are much more likely to keep grabbing a nibble here and there which adds up.
  5. Become the designated driver and you’ll at least avoid all the extra alcohol calories (regardless of calories, alcohol in general slows your metabolism).
  6. Manage your holiday stress.  Do your best to look at the holiday season as a time of celebration and relaxation rather than a time of stress.  Stress makes you fat.
  7. Don’t use the “trick” of not eating all day and then making the party/family gathering your big meal of the day.  You’re more likely to eat even more that way than if you’d had normal or slighlty smaller amounts for your other meals.  *I definitely still get in my good, solid protein breakfast to keep me from being stupid later.
  8. If you aren’t sure if there will be any healthy food served, take your own healthy dish.  *I took sauteed spinach to this past Thanksgiving family meal, and surprisingly was not the only one who ate it.
  9. Eat slowly.  Take the time to have conversation during the meal which will take you longer to eat and be able to register fullness before it’s too late.
  10. Keep a water bottle handy and sip on it.

When all else fails, keep a roll of mints in your pocket/purse.  Not much tastes good with mint (okay, chocolate does), keeping you from wanting more food.  I always find that Newman’s Own Organic Ginger Mints or Cinnamon Mints burn my mouth out, making me completely stop eating.  Use as many mints as necessary!

Happy Holidays!



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