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How To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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Tips for avoiding gaining weight during the hoidays

As part of NBC TV’s Hassle-Free Holiday event, here are some great tips on how to avoid holiday weight gain this year.


Did you know that during the holidays the average person only gains about 1 pound?! According to NBC TV’s Hassle-Free Holiday special guest Registered Dietician Keri Glassman, during the four-week holiday period, your expected weight gain is actually closer to one pound than the seven to 10 pounds that many people believe it is. However, if you enter the holidays already being overweight, it turns out that you are likely to gain more than that one pound average.

To help everyone prevent holiday weight gain, here is a summary of 12 tips recommended by Ms. Glassman that she says will help you pull in the reins this holiday season.

Holiday Weight Avoidance Tip #1: Drink up wisely

One glass of wine per day is typically recommended for good health. However, with the holidays you can expect to imbibe more than usual which can quickly and easily add up to a total calorie count of 1,600 calories—in wine alone―during a month of merrymaking. Plus, with increased alcohol comes an increased urge to eat more, which only compounds your holiday weight gain.

Ms. Glassman recommends drinking one glass of water or seltzer with each glass of wine at a party to help keep your glass count down. And, you should definitely pass on eggnog and flavored coffee drinks that are even higher in calories than that glass of wine.

Holiday Weight Avoidance Tip #2: Go clean

Avoid all fried treats even if they are disguised with some vegetable. Ms. Glassman tells us that four pieces of a spinach and cheese puff pastry will cost you about 260 calories and 17 grams fat.

Holiday Weight Avoidance Tip #3: Use hors d'oeuvres to your advantage

Choose your protein snacks wisely—stay away from pigs-in-a-blanket and the like and instead go for a lighter fare such as shrimp cocktail that will help keep those hunger pains at bay.

Holiday Weight Avoidance Tip #4: Plan your conscious indulgences

It’s okay to indulge—as long as it is done in moderation. And the best way to achieve that is to plan ahead on what treat you really must have during the holiday and then limit yourself―guilt-free―to no more than two treats per week during the holiday season.

Holiday Weight Avoidance Tip #5: Have a Safe Comfort Food

Stress is synonymous with Christmas and as such it’s easy to cave-in and bury your face in that bowl of red and green M&M’s in the office. Your best bet is to prepare ahead for your stress attack by having a safe comfort food snack ready-to-go such as:

• 1 oz. of cheddar cheese and a small apple
• 2 tsp. peanut butter with 1/2 oz. of dark chocolate
• Cheddar cheese and tomato grilled on whole grain bread may do the trick.

Holiday Weight Avoidance Tip #6: Freeze the leftovers right away!

It’s tempting to keep sampling away at those holiday leftovers in the fridge—and who wants great food to go to waste? Right?!

A better choice is to divide those leftovers into reasonable portions and freeze them away for future meals. Doing so will prevent the temptation that is only a quick peek into the fridge.

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Holiday Weight Avoidance Tip #7: Keep your Healthiest Qualities in Check

Christmas and the New Year is not the time to forgo your good health habits. Write down the ones you keep daily and make sure to stick with them rather than rationalizing them away as being part of the holiday festivities.

Holiday Weight Avoidance Tip #8: Wake Up and Get your Exercise On

According to Ms. Glassman, research shows that women who worked out in the morning not only moved more the rest of the day, but they also responded less to pictures of tempting food in comparison to the days that they have a morning workout. Just like the aforementioned healthy habits in tip #7, stay on your exercise schedule rather than putting off your exercising until January.

Holiday Weight Avoidance Tip #9: Fab your gorgeous self out

Think of it as dress for weight loss success—put on clothing that makes you look and feel good about yourself and how you look so that you will feel less tempted to overindulge.

Holiday Weight Avoidance Tip #10: Think about someone you admire who exudes health, confidence and positivity (with a little sex appeal thrown in) and take a little inspiration

Ms. Glassman puts it that you should feel amazing on the outside because you are amazing on the inside! This kind of mindful positive thinking will help you make good food choices.

Holiday Weight Avoidance Tip #11: Out of sight, out of mind

Keep that food at home out of site and choose distractions such as finding a game to play with your family.

Holiday Weight Avoidance Tip #12: Feast on good company

And this is the best advice of all from Ms. Glassman—feasting on good company (even the relatives) rather than feasting on food. Her recommendations:

• Make your guests the focus of the day, rather than the food.

• Be in the moment. Laugh. Really listen to your cousin's story about his recent trip. Ask your grandma about what the holidays were like 50 years ago.

• Make eye contact, connect and engage with every person who is special to you in the room and make sure that you leave the event full of love, rather than cheese puffs.

• You don't have to treat each festive meal like your last supper to be satisfied, nourished and full of holiday joy.

For more about getting through the holidays, here is an informative article on how to lose one easy pound per week, and how to avoid food mistakes this holiday season.

Reference: NBC Today “12 tips for avoiding weight gain during the holidays