Having a plan in place can help you avoid holiday weight gain

Picture of salad for holiday weight gain article

Holidays bring family and friends together to celebrate traditions and spread good cheer. They also bring lots of opportunities for socializing, eating and drinking. Even the most disciplined people struggle with temptation during the holiday season.

To navigate the party landmines with your healthy diet intact, you need a strategy. Having a plan in place may help you survive the seasonal parties.

  1. Be realistic. Don’t try to lose weight during the holidays. Instead try to maintain your current weight
  2. Plan time for exercise. Exercise may help relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. A moderate and daily increase in exercise can help partially offset increased holiday eating. Try a 10- or 15-minute walk twice a day.
  3. Don’t skip meals. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over eat. Always eat normally on the day of a party.
  4. Scan the buffet. Choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. Skip the everyday dishes that are available all year long. If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. And don’t feel like you have to sample everything on the buffet.
  5. Be careful with beverages. Alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories — especially holiday favorites like eggnog. Nonalcoholic beverages can be full of calories and sugar. Alternate alcohol with no-calorie nonalcoholic beverages, like water.
  6. Take the focus off food. Plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t all about food. Try playing games or going on a walking tour of decorated homes.
  7. Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering.
  8. Respect special requests. As you plan your holiday menu, ask if guests have any food preferences or intolerances.

Enjoy the holidays, plan time for activity, incorporate healthy recipes into your holiday meals and don’t restrict yourself from enjoying your favorite holiday foods. For guidance on making healthy food choices, click here.

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