Do's And Don't's For Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

For many, the arrival of the holiday season also means the dreaded arrival of additional pounds around the waistline. Although it seems like everywhere you turn there are delicious goodies just begging to be eaten, it is possible to avoid holiday weight gain. By following a few simple do’s and don’ts, you can make sure that Santa is the only one with a belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly.

1)      Don’t go empty handed to holiday parties- To make sure there is always a healthy option at your holiday get-togethers, bring something with you. Some tasty ideas include popcorn, a fresh fruit or vegetable tray served with dip made from low-fat yogurt or hummus served with whole wheat crackers.

2)      Do budget your calories wisely- Before you eat at a holiday event, study the food options and make a plan. Be choosy about how you spend your calories and fill your plate with only the foods that you really want.

3)      Don’t skip meals- Meal skippers may think they are saving calories, but this strategy often backfires, resulting in overeating later in the day. The best strategy for maintaining a healthy weight is to fuel your body throughout the day with well-balanced meals or snacks. Make sure to include plenty of servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods and lean meats. Eating a nutritious diet will also help to keep your immune system healthy during the holidays.

4)      Do be wise about portion size- Rather than avoiding your favorite holiday treats, enjoy them in moderation and watch your portion size. Try sharing a slice of cheesecake or pumpkin pie with a friend and resist making return visits to the buffet table. Also, make sure to eat slowly and enjoy every bite.

5)      Don’t forget to make time for exercise- Between attending holiday parties and shopping for everyone on your Christmas list, this is a busy time of year, but make sure to fit exercise into your schedule. If you can’t make it to the gym, sneak physical activity into your day. For example, park farther away from the door at the mall, take the stairs instead of the elevator at work or take the dog for a walk.

6)      Do re-think your holiday drinks- Calories from beverages can add up quickly so make sure to pay attention to what you are drinking and how much. Limit high calorie drinks like eggnog and punch and if you are thirsty, reach for water. If you want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, do so in moderation, which means up to 1 drink for women and up to 2 drinks for men.  

For a delicious and healthy holiday appetizer to bring to your next holiday party, try Salad on a Stick with Honey Mustard Dressing. 

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