Santa Claus Measuring Fat Belly

So what’s the harm in a little holiday weight gain, especially if it’s just a Pound? According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays. The pounds add up year after year, making holiday weight gain an important factor in the rise in adult obesity.

Never Arrive Hungry

  • Try to have a nutritious and satisfying snack, such as a Quest bar, before heading to a holiday party so excess hunger doesn’t tempt you towards overeating.

Divert your attention

  • Don’t forget that there is more to the holidays than food! Enjoy the company of friends and family and change your focus to conversation instead of food. Choose a seat away from where the food is displayed.

Outsmart the buffet

  • When dinner is laid out buffet style, use the smallest plate available and don’t stack up your food. Go for simple choices and try to avoid added sauces and dips.

Limit Alcohol

  • Limiting alcohol isn’t only to limit calories, but to also keep you in control of what you’re eating. Choose to carry water around if you feel out of place without something in your hand like everyone else.

Be Sweet Selective

  • When choosing your dessert, be very selective. Try to choose only one small portion of your favorite holiday dessert, or just a small bite of a few different ones.

Limit “Tasting” while Cooking

  • If you’re cooking during the holidays, limit yourself to only 1-2 pre and post seasoning tastes because all of those little “bites” and “tests” can add up to hundreds of calories. Try chewing gum, or combining ingredients immediately to help to avoid snacking on the added nuts, chocolate chips, fruits, etc.

Walk It Off

  • Stay away from the food for a while by taking a walk outside, around the house, or even around the room at a party instead of just sitting down.

Think Before you Eat

  • Instead of making yourself sick on foods that you feel you “have to” eat, simply because it’s the holidays – think! Before grabbing something, ask yourself how much you actually want that food, and how hungry you really are. Remind yourself that there will be plenty of opportunities to eat that food, and maybe save a piece for another day if you find you’re already full – instead of just eating it anyway.

Catch Some ZzZz’s

  • Between cooking, entertaining, present wrapping, and preparing for guests, sleep seems to hit the last spot on our to-do lists. Sleep helps to control appetite though, making it a huge priority, especially during the food-crazed holiday season. Try to aim for 7-9 hours each night.

Take Small Bites

  • In addition to using smaller plates, using small utensils can help prevent holiday overeating. Your food shouldn’t cover more than half of the utensil, and these smaller bites will help to slow down eating and fill you up faster.