9 Tips for Avoiding the Holiday Weight Gain

avoid-holiday-weight-gainTis the season to celebrate with family, friends and food! Temptations are everywhere and celebrating the holidays typically leads to overeating and weight gain. This holiday season focus on a healthy balance of food, activity and fun. These nine tips will help you avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain.

  1. Don’t arrive to the party on an empty stomach – Skipping meals and arriving to the party on an empty stomach can lead to over eating. If the holiday gathering you are attending is around lunch, eat a healthy breakfast followed by a mid morning high-fiber snack. If the party is later in the evening, try eating a protein packed lunch to make you feel fuller.
  2. Offer to bring a healthy dish – Offer to bring a healthy dish to your holiday get together. Some things you can do to make your dish healthier are:
    • Subbing equal parts applesauce for butter
    • Use whole wheat flour instead of white flour
    • Instead of chocolate or candy use dried fruit or nuts
    • Refrigerate your gravy so the fat hardens on top, then skim the fat off.
  3. Avoid an excess amount of alcohol – Make friends with water. Alternate each glass of alcohol with a glass of water, this will help reduce thirst and fill your stomach. Alcohol not only can make you dehydrated but it can help you pack on extra calories. If you are looking for something flavored try a flavored sparkling water or water with freshly squeezed fruit.
  4. Select smaller portions – If the holiday party you are attending is buffet style, look at all of your options before starting to fill your plate. Select smaller portions of food and do not go back for seconds. Using a smaller plate can help with keeping your portions on the smaller side and avoid holiday weight gain.
  5. Don’t hoover around the table – When you are full get up and leave the table or kitchen. Hanging around the food will allow you to continue to pick and overeat.
  6. Take the focus off of food – During your holiday get together, try taking the focus off of sitting down and eating. Focus on playing games, serving meals in your community or walking around to tour Christmas decorations.
  7. Eat slowly – It takes your brain about 20 minutes to get the message that you are actually full. Allow your brain to catch up by enjoying the taste of your food and take small, slow bites. Eating slowly will allow you to avoid overeating and you to stop when full.
  8. Limit your splurge – Eat the holiday foods you love in the right proportions. Limit your splurging to once a week around the holidays to avoid holiday weight gain.
  9. Exercise – Continuing to exercise throughout the holidays to speed up your metabolism to help you burn calories faster. Exercise will help counter balance and avoid holiday weight gain.

Remember what this holidays are all about, connecting and spending time with the ones your care about most. Focusing more on the fun makes it easier to focus less on the food.