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Holiday Weight Gain and How to Avoid It

The holidays are meant to be a joyful celebration of time spent with family and friends. Unfortunately, it usually results in over-eating and weight gain as well. With the winter holidays approaching, how can you avoid holiday weight gain?

Don''t be like this guy

Don’t be like this guy…

According to a study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American can expect to gain around 1 pound over the winter holidays. One pound is a far cry from the exaggerated 7 to 10 pounds that are typically reported. Although this study relieves some of the stress associated with holiday weight gain, it is important to remember that this 1 pound is just an average. Plenty of people will gain more than just that 1 pound, and it would be nice to avoid any unnecessary weight gain in the first place.

There are plenty of tips that can be implemented to avoid holiday weight gain. The Sutter Health CPMC Network came up with 10 helpful tips to avoid this unwanted weight gain. Some of these tips include:

  1. Be realistic. Don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays, instead try to maintain your current weight.
  2. Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain.
  3. Don’t skip meals. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over-indulge.
  4. Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. Include vegetables and fruits to keep your plate balanced.
  5. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy.

Another great way to cut the fat and calories from your favorite traditional meals is to find healthier substitutes. The Food Network has compiled a number of healthy holiday recipes that range from a healthier Green Bean Casserole to a low-fat eggnog. If you are looking to stick to a Paleo diet, Steph from Stupid Easy Paleo compiled a list of Paleo friendly holiday recipes that can be found here.

Enjoy the holidays! It can mean straying from your normal food choices for a little bit but when it’s all over get back to your healthy habits! It’s the choices you make over a years, not weeks, that really count!