Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

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There’s no denying it, the holidays are all around us. You can’t avoid the office parties, private parties, or get-togethers with friends and family held over sagging buffet tables of glazed hams, candied yams, pies and cake. The sheer number of opportunities to indulge in what might arguably be the most food of the year is almost too much to handle. Another glass of wine? Oh, I couldn’t possibly. Well, alright, just a little.


If your diet can survive the holidays you’ve just about got it made. The rest of January is relatively austere except, well, there is that ball game near the end. Then there’s that chocolate problem in the middle of February but for quantity and duration Christmas and New Years are the big ones. You’ve got that end-of-the-year crush at the office, travel, shopping and then there is the family. It’s no wonder half the country is in a food induce haze.

There are ways to avoid going off the rails during the holidays. Here are some tips and techniques that work during the holidays and all year ’round.

Steel Your Resolve

Stand straight, look yourself in the eye and tell yourself you are sticking to your guns. So many people just throw the doors wide open at any excuse and the holidays are an easy time to do it. Everybody’s doing it, right? Don’t kid yourself. It’s not all great food. When was the last time you said to yourself, “Mmmm, yule log.”

Plan Your Meals

Prepare meals that you can take on the run. A small plastic container of food can fit in any bag. If you are going to an event that’s serving food you don’t want to eat, eat what you want before hand. If you are tempted to indulge at the party, do so in moderation but without guilt. You’ve put down a good base and a small treat won’t throw you off.

Give Yourself Permission To Enjoy The Holidays

Food is a great part of many celebrations. It is an integral part of the season. You are not shoving everything that passes by into your face. That doesn’t mean you have to miss it all. Make the healthiest choices you can. Fill your plate with high protein food: shrimp, chicken or beef and vegetables. Create a meal out of the available options that is as close to your diet as you can.

Like Any Other Time Of The Year, Portion Control Is Key

You’re not as hungry as you think you are. Small portions of food and large glasses of water will give you the full feeling you need. If you are hungry again in three hours, you’re supposed to be. Eat something. Spread out four to six meals through the day to keep your metabolism up. Just don’t make it one long, continuous, graze from the break room to the coffee cart to dinner.

Skipping Your Workout Is Dangerous

So if you are eating more food than usual – stick to your exercise plan. Make an appointment with a friend or a trainer and keep it. Small amounts of regular exercise are better than none at all. If the gym makes you a little late to the party, that’s okay, too. You’ll be the freshest looking one there. You also want to be the freshest looking one on the way out. So…

Moderate Your Alcohol Consumption

Just because someone else is pouring, doesn’t mean you have to drink. Have some water, club soda or diet soda You can keep it to two or three drinks over the course of the evening by switching to a calorie-free drink every other glass. Less alcohol means less empty calories, less weight gain and less chance of a hangover. Less alcohol also means you won’t reduce your inhibitions to the point of emptying the bon bon tray.

Keeping to your diet and exercise plan during the holidays is a road filled with temptation and detours. Some careful planning and determination will help see you through.

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