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Tips To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

avoid holiday weight gain

Research has shown that the average American gains 7 to 10 lbs during the holiday season. Recent studies now show that the average weight gain during the winter holidays is just one pound. That is a promising statistic. However, most people don’t ever lose the pound of weight they put on during the holidays. That means the average weight gain during adulthood is about one to two pounds a year and much of midlife weight gain can be explained by holiday eating.

That being said it is important that we watch what we eat (and drink) during the holiday season.  You may have already screwed up on Halloween by sneaking that candy from your kids’ baskets, but Thanksgiving can be different with some planning.  Here are some tips to avoid the holiday weight gain:

Plate Your Own Food

I was taught to eat all the food on my plate as a child.  I bet you are teaching your children this too.  Family members and friends who you eat with during the holidays are extremely giving during this time of year.  So expect the giving to come in large portions and don’t let others plate your food.  Politely tell them that you will plate your own meal and be sure to portion your veggies, starches, meat and bread correctly.  This is a fantastic tip for those that have Italian mother-in-laws.  Trust me, this is coming from personal experience! (Love you Mom!)

avoid holiday weight gain

Portion Control

I bet most of you have that family member that heaps his plate full of food and eats it all only to go back for seconds.  Maybe that family member is you?  It is important to eat a variety of food for proper nutrition which is why portion control is so important to healthy eating.  This picture is a great way to portion your plate for Thanksgiving.  I wouldn’t worry about the calories as they are limited by the portions.

  • 1/2 Cup of starch (potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn (1 ear)
  • 1 Cup to 2 Cups of Veggies/Salads
  • 1/2 Cup of Stuffing
  • 4 oz. – 6 oz. of turkey
  • 1 Roll with 1 pat of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of gravy
  • 1 small slice of pie (no whipped cream or ice cream)

Limit Soda And Alcohol

Wine, Champagne, and Beer are always flowing with holiday parties.  Don’t get carried away here.  This is where the weight gain really takes it toll.  Beer is filled with wheat, hops and barely which are high in carbohydrates.  Too many carbs will be stored as sugar in your body.  And what does sugar break down to?  Yup, fat.

If you think drinking wine is going to make you less guilty let me tell you it is also high in sugar. And I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but, it turns into fat.  Of course we can say the same for champagne too.

Limit yourself to one glass of wine, champagne or beer on these days and then opt for drinking water with fresh fruit and spices like lemons. limes, cinnamon, mint, or even strawberries.  Make it look cute by using a champagne or wine glass and dressing it up with garnish of lime or cherries.  I’ve pulled this off without anyone knowing!  Give it a try.

avoid holiday weight gain

Get Moving

It is so easy to get lazy after eating your holiday meal.  Yes there is tryptophan in the turkey that will make you tired.  But instead of taking a nap after your meal, take a walk instead.  Grab the family and head out for a walk.  Yes it maybe cold but a walk up and down the block will burn some calories and help you bond as a family.  Or even better would be a game of tag football.  The turkey trot is a tradition so why not start this healthy game with your family this year?

Join A Post Holiday Workout Group

Joining a fitness challenge after the holidays is always a great way to take those extra pounds off.  If you already have a gym membership I suggest going before, during and after the holidays.  However, if you can’t afford a gym membership at home workouts are a great way to stay fit.  I have several challenges starting right after Thanksgiving.  I am offering the Busy Mom Bootcamp and the Hammer & Chisel Test Group that are starting in November and early December.  These are for home workout programs with private groups on Facebook to help with your nutrition and motivation.   Check out the Upcoming Bootcamps calendar to the right to learn more and RSVP for one of the events.  Happy Holidays!

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