Tiffany Matthews is a freelance health writer with 20 years of medical experience. She contributes health and medical articles to Healthline.com on a regular basis.
AVOIDING HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN
Many Americans can put on an average of three to five pounds during each holiday season, and some add even more weight. No wonder: everywhere you look there are yummy treats just waiting to be eaten and if you do not eat them, someone else will.
If you want to avoid holiday weight gain – and what healthy foodie doesn’t?—you don’t have to completely deprive yourself of a few sweet treats and rich, delicious foods. After all, a tiny bit of indulgence once a year is not such a bad thing. But when you are baking and eat half the gingerbread men right off the tray, or you eat more candy than you put in the candy dishes you are filling, you might be in for a bit of a tough time this holiday season.
It is possible to enjoy holiday treats without gaining more than a pound, and for some lucky people not even that. Here are a few suggestions.
Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
● Always Eat Before You Go – Never show up at a friend’s house or a party with an empty stomach. Always eat a healthy, light meal or large snack before you leave home. That way you will be full and less tempted to eat a large amount of calorie heavy foods.
● It is a Party, not an All you can Eat Buffet – If you can remember that one sentence, you will be less tempted to gobble up all the goodies. There is more to a holiday party than eating, so be a nibbler not a binger. Mingle and visit with people, dance, play games or sing songs. Find something you can do that will keep your mind off the food!
● Outsmart the Buffet - When dinner is served buffet- style, use the smallest plate available and do not stack your food; limit your helpings to a single story. Go for the simplest foods on the buffet: fresh fruits, vegetables, and shrimp cocktail are good choices. Watch out for sauces and dips.
● Be Selective About the Sweets – Take small portions and only choose your real favorites.
● The most important thing to remember when attending a holiday event where the food seems to be the focus is that there are plenty of other things to do. Socializing to keep your mouth busy as opposed to chewing is a useful strategy that will pay off for you on January 1st.