You may have noticed your clothes fitting a bit tighter than usual. Most people pack on the pounds at Christmastime.
Those delicious goodies we love this time of the year carry a price. The average American gains 8 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Ideally, in January, we’ll lose them, but all too often that just doesn’t happen.
Kelly Freno, a dietician with Bon Secours Health, shares some tips on how to avoid gaining holiday pounds in the first place, starting with strategies for food-laden holiday parties.
“Some things we can do is make sure we’re choosing healthy foods. So making sure we enjoy lean choices of meat, like turkey, ham, and salmon, making half of our plate non-starchy vegetables,” she advises.
Also, choose smaller portions, eat slowly and don’t get seconds.
The best way to avoid overdoing it at your holiday gathering is to eat something healthy and filling beforehand, like a handful of nuts, a hardboiled egg or a salad. Also, drink plenty of water before and during the event.
“Be cautious though on the high sugary beverages. So careful on the eggnog, also watch out for our alcohol intake,” Freno advised. “One five ounce glass of wine has 120 calories. If you have 2 or 3 of those throughout the evening those calories really add up quickly.”
Make time to exercise. Not only does it burn those extra calories, it also acts as a stress reliever, minimizing your temptation to stress eat.
It’s hard to eat healthy over the holidays when people twist your arm with words like, ‘C’mon, it’s the holidays,’ or ‘I made this myself just for you’. Just don’t give in to peer pressure.
“Kind of preparing yourself for a healthy, happy, ‘no thank you’ or, ‘the dish looks great but I’m full,’ ‘It’s been a delight.’ So learning how to politely say no can be very engaging during a holiday party without being overbearing or insulting,” Freno said.
Finally, weigh yourself every day. Research shows this reality check helps you minimize your weight gain.