Though that might not sound like much, research shows these pounds are not lost, but add up year after year. Try the following savvy strategies to keep weight gain at bay this holiday season.
Bring your own. When you’re invited to someone’s home, offer to bring an appetizer such as fresh vegetables and low-fat dip, or a healthy dish to serve at the main meal. This way, you are assured there will be something “safe” to eat.
Don’t “save” calories for later. Before an occasion involving food, eat a piece of fruit, a yogurt or other light snack before you go. This helps to curb hunger so you don’t binge when you’re there. If the event is in the evening, make sure to have a healthy breakfast and lunch.
Be choosy about sweets. If you know you’re the type who can’t stop at one bite, you’re better off taking a very small portion of a single dessert than piling your plate with several treats you plan to just “try.”
Keep healthy snacks at work. This can help prevent overindulging on break room treats or the candy jar on your office mate’s desk.
Limit leftovers. Make your home a safe haven. Send your guests home with the high-calorie leftovers if you have entertained.
Limit alcohol. Not only does it contribute extra calories, it also lowers inhibitions and can cause you to eat more.
Buddy up. Make a goal with a friend to maintain your weight during the holiday season. That way you are accountable to someone other than yourself.
Exercise. Sign up for a 5K, a fitness walk, a work challenge or other fitness event. This will motivate you to focus on exercise and keep your body moving.
Maintain perspective. A single day of overeating won’t make or break your eating plan. If you overindulge at a holiday meal or party, put it behind you. Return to your usual eating plan the next day, and leave your guilt behind.
Celebrate the true meaning of the holiday. Try to give food less importance by focusing on what the holidays are really about—spending time with family and friends.