7 Strategies To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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The holiday season is upon us, and food is everywhere.  From work parties, house parties, Christmas baking, there is an abundance of it. It’s no wonder, we often worry about gaining weight during this time.  I’m sure you’ve heard numbers thrown out there – anywhere from a one to ten pound gain is average over the holidays.  Studies have shown, it’s on the lower end of that range, but this can vary person to person. There are ways to be mindful and incorporate some healthy eating strategies to help avoid it. Here are some strategies to stop those extra holiday pounds:

  1. Eat a healthy snack before you head out to a holiday party. You do not want to arrive starving because you’ll most likely end up eating too much.
  2. Choose wisely.  Don’t waste calories on foods that do not bring you pleasure.  Don’t overload your plate with everything. Take an overall look at what foods are available and choose those that you are truly going to enjoy.
  3. Eat your calories instead of drinking them. Stick to lower calorie or calorie-free drinks (diet sodas, water, lite beer, or a wine spritzer), instead of punches, eggnog, and mixed drinks that can have up to 500 calories/cup.  You can also sip a large glass of water between every alcoholic drink, non-alcoholic punch, or eggnog. It will help keep you hydrated, and you will drink fewer calories overall.
  4. Watch your portion sizes. Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables. These are lower calorie and contain fiber. It will help fill you up and keep you from eating too much of the higher calorie foods.  Consider what is the correct portion size of that food instead of heaping large amounts onto your plate. Learn more about healthy foods and portion sizes- Portion size matters!!
  5.  If you are hosting a party, include some healthier options for you and your guests. Include foods like vegetables (non-starchy types), fruits, and lean meats. If it’s potluck, bring a healthy dish to share.
  6.  Beware the buffet!  Most holiday parties have a buffet set up. Don’t park yourself right next to the table. It is hard to resist nibbling all night long. Find a comfortable spot across the room to avoid the temptation.
  7.  Don’t deprive yourself. Enjoy your favorite holiday treats.  We all have wonderful food memories associated with the holidays. Practice moderation.  Take small portions, eat slowly, and savor the taste and texture of the wonderful foods this time of year.

The best strategy is to adopt a healthy lifestyle and clean eating year round. Eating a clean, nutrient-rich diet is a fundamental element in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. The free ‘Eat Clean Meal Planning System’ will guide you through the key steps it takes to eat a healthy well-balanced diet.  It also provides you with the tools you – a sample meal plan, food logs, meal planning worksheets and more.  It will help you get started and on track to a healthier lifestyle.

 

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