10 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

This season, avoid the 5 pounds others will gain.

The average American gains five pounds during the holiday season. These 10 tips from health and lifestyle experts at the Pritikin Longevity Center will help you not only avoid holiday weight gain but also enjoy the holiday season more.

Easy Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Like bears preparing for hibernation, most of us pack on the pounds in December, and then struggle to lose them in January. But how can you avoid weight gain, when December is filled with such temptations? These 10 tips will help.

To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain…

  • 1. Whatever you do, keep burning those calories:

    Exercise is especially critical during this time of larger-than-usual meals. In addition to your regular exercise schedule, plan activities like walks, hikes, bicycle rides, and dances with family and friends. The extra calorie burning can really help control your weight – and you’ll enjoy some wonderful times together.

  • 2. Eat something before you go to the party:

    About an hour before the holiday dinner, eat some fresh fruit or veggies. Watch your will power soar while your waistline stays in place.

  • 3. Be a good guest (it’s good for you!):

    Call your host and say, “I’d love to bring something. What are you planning on serving?” If you discover that one of the dishes is particularly unhealthy (or tempting), offer to bring your own version.

  • 4. Don’t plant yourself in front of the buffet table:

    Settle down elsewhere, facing other pleasures. Is the band playing one of your favorite tunes? Grab a partner and go – far, far away from the buffet.

  • 5. Don’t give up hours of joy for 10 minutes of binging:

    After prime rib, a baked potato brimming with full-fat sour cream, and pecan pie a la mode, you’d be hard pressed to get out of your chair, let alone have fun with family or guests. The pleasure of a high-fat, high-calorie meal is short-lived.

  • 6. Select your first course foods so that they are low in calorie density:

    A huge green salad, a plate of fresh fruit, and a side of roasted vegetables add up to a lot of food, but not a lot of calories.

  • 7. Don’t leave the house without snacks:

    Without snacks comes hunger, those frenzied “gotta eat” cravings that carry you right over to the hors d’oeuvre table, and yes, the hunks of cheese and other high-fat, calorie-dense fare.  Bring healthy snacks with you — in your glove compartement, purse, gym bag, and brief case.  Whenever hunger hits, you’re ready.

  • 8. Dine like Europeans:

      Many people in Europe remain slim by eating leisurely meals with much smaller servings than we typically eat in the U.S. And they are more active in their daily lives, which certainly helps burn calories.

  • 9. Remember: It’s all about progress, not perfection:

    If after dancing and tree trimming, you find yourself right back at the buffet table, don’t beat yourself up. There’s a lot of area between a carrot stick and the whole chocolate cake.

  • 10. Start the new year on the right foot:

    Start fresh on January 1. Put the holidays behind you. Get right back on track.  Far more important than what we do 15 special holidays of the year is what we’re doing the remaining 350 days of the year.

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