Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Posted by GPWHC on 18 December 2017

The holidays have arrived, and with them comes parties and gatherings filled delicious food and drink. It’s easy to gain between 7-10 pounds during the holidays. On average, people tend to gain around 5 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Ho, ho, hold it! Five pounds is a lot when you consider that’s only a span of four weeks. Is it possible to celebrate the holidays without packing on the extra weight? By following some simple tips, you can enjoy the holidays and the food without carrying extra weight into the New Year.

Weigh yourself twice a week. This will give you a baseline weight and make you aware of your current weight. If the scale numbers begin creeping up, it’s time to take a good hard look at your food choices and cut back on the extra cookies or cocktails.

At holiday parties, be selective with your food choices. Fill your plate with lots of fresh fruits and veggies and be picky about which foods you select. Scan the buffet table before you begin loading your plate with everything just because it’s there. Be sure to chew your food slowly.

You don’t need to skip dessert, but be choosy about your selection. Cookies, chocolate, and cakes are tempting, but contain a lot of added sugar. Smart dessert options are those with fresh fruit, however, if you have to try the chocolate peppermint cupcake, limit to a bite or two. Or, better yet, split a decadent dessert.

Don’t skip meals all day to bank calories for that ‘big’ party meal. Stick to three healthy meals, eating your daily allowance of calories. Be sure each meals contains plenty of protein and fiber which will keep you fuller longer. Having a full stomach will keep you from devouring the first thing you see when you arrive at your holiday gathering.

Drink a lot of water, especially before meals. Water will make you feel fuller and as a result, you won’t eat as many calories. Ditch the soda and juices as they are filled with sugar and calories.

Avoid drinking too much alcohol at your holiday party. Not only does alcohol add unnecessary calories to your diet, but drinking too much can make you lose your inhibitions around food and start eating mindlessly. Treat yourself to a glass of champagne or eggnog with dinner, but after that, swap to water which will keep you hydrated and full.

If you’ve just finished your plate and are contemplating going up for round two, wait and sit for a few minutes. If you decide you aren't hungry, don't eat anymore. Wait on getting that second plate. Sometimes it’s just the temptation of the food being there, not actual hunger pangs.

If you find you still filled up too much at your gathering, get out and exercise! Take a walk, go for a swim or hike. Get moving and start burning those calories. The holiday season is all about celebrating with family and friends, togetherness, and indulging in good foods — just remember smart choices and moderation is the key to enjoying tempting holiday food and treats.

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