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10 Tips to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

The holiday season is upon us. If you’re anything like me, Thanksgiving and Christmas are exciting times, but then we’re left trying to figure out how to work off a whole weekend’s worth of over indulging. No matter how many times we hear that obesity is linked to diabetes, heart disease and cancer, many of us still find it hard to resist partaking in the entire feast for the holidays. So, I’m sharing some strategies you can try to minimize weight gain over the holiday season.

10 Tips to help you survive the holidays without gaining weight:

1. Maintain your current weight
It seems pretty counter-intuitive to me to try and lose weight over the holiday season. Try being practical and aim to maintain your current weight.

2. Use your hand to estimate serving size for better portion control.
Check out this quick how-to video.

3. Go easy on the alcohol
Egg nog and cocktails flow freely at holiday gatherings, if you limit yourself to 2, you’ll enjoy yourself & not feel deprived.

4. Use lower fat version of ingredients in recipes
Holidays feasts are comprised of calorie laden dishes and rich, decadent desserts. Try substituting 2% for whole milk, non-fat Greek yogurt for sour cream, reduced-fat (not fat free) cheese or applesauce for vegetable oil. You can also experiment with using less sugar and butter than the recipe calls for. However, use good judgement as to not compromise taste.

5. Exercise
Between holiday shopping, trimming the tree, family gatherings, office parties, spending time with your honey and every other important activity of daily living…don’t neglect yourself. My unscientific guesstimate tells me that 30 minutes a day, 5 days per week, will keep you steady on the scale.

6. Sample the dessert table
I LOVE dessert! Did I say LOVE? Peach cobbler, banana pudding (without the bananas, of course), pound cake, red velvet cupcakes & my ultimate favorite, brownies with nuts. But, I have to pace myself at the dessert table & you should too. Get a small spoonful, savor it & keep it moving. That’s all!

7. Bring a delicious, healthy snack or dish to the party
When appropriate, suggest a potluck to the host(ess). Then find a delicious, lower calorie recipe and take it with you. That way you have something figure friendly to munch on.

8. Fill 2/3 of your plate with colorful veggies, reserve the rest for carbs and meat/protein
I’m a fan of weight watchers, I successfully followed their program & lost 29 pounds in 2010. Their Good Health Guidelines are an excellent model for daily food intake.

9. Enjoy your family and friends in conversation
This is something else I learned from my Weight Watchers leader, Mrs. Joanne. Whenever you go to a social gathering where there is food, be social. Even though our culture revolves around celebrating with food, genuine satisfaction comes from socializing with loved ones. If you focus on working the room and catching up with old friends and making new, there will be less time to get mesmerized by the food. Try it, I plan to.

10. Eat until satisfied and pace yourself
This one always gets me because I like to eat. However, I’ve come a long way. I used to overeat on a regular, but now I do pretty well with eating just until I’m satisfied. One way I accomplished this was by eating more slowly. That way I really get a chance to enjoy my food and not eat as much.

Do you think you’ll try these tips this holiday season? Share the strategies you use that successfully prevent you from over-indulging.

Peace and blessings,

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