Most website claim that the average holiday weight gain is 5 or more pounds from Thanksgiving to New Years and surveys show that the average American reports a 5 pounds weight gain. The good news is a report in the New England Journal of Medicine actually showed the average American only gains one pound during this holiday season (although they did find that those already overweight tend to gain more). The bad news is most people don’t lose the weight. While it’s just a pound now imagine adding 5 pounds in the next 5 years. Here are some tips for fending off holiday weight gain and how to tackle the holiday parties.
- Continue your exercise routine. If you have plans after work try switching to a morning routine.
- Don’t eat more in anticipation for a New Years diet. When people anticipate a diet they tend to overindulge on high fat, unhealthy foods before they start. If weight loss is your New Years Resolution make sure to focus on overall lifestyle changes that can start now and will last throughout the year and not an unrealistic change that won’t last through January.
- Watch your portion sizes. It’s okay to have dessert but watch your serving size.
- Don’t skip meals. When you skip a meal you usually arrive at the next meal over hungry which leads to overindulging.
- Think Moderation: Remember that weight gain comes from excess calorie intake over time. Having some unhealthy foods such as a holiday dessert won’t immediately cause weight gain. It’s indulging too often or eating too much that cause weight gain over the holidays.
Tips for Tackling Holiday Parties
- Don’t arrive starving. Have a healthy snack before you go.
- Use a plate for dips and finger foods. This will help control your portions.
- Stay hydrated with water.
- Choose your drink wisely. If you choose to have alcoholic beverages limit yourself to 1-2 drinks and stay away from drinks with high calorie mixers such as egg nog, cider, flavored martinis and punch. Choose wine, light beer or if you want a cocktail make sure it is made with a low or no calorie mixer like club soda, diet soda or tonic water.
- When you are at a holiday party with a buffet, prioritize. Most buffets have a wide range of foods and so many of us try to sample each one to be polite. The truth is you don’t have to sample everything available. Choose what you would enjoy the most and pass up the filler items.
- Lastly, if you’re the host don’t make food the only focus. Holidays are a great time to catch up with close friends and family. Try setting up the food in a different room than you will be socializing so people don’t continue to pick at the food just because it’s in arms reach.