Worried about holiday weight gain? Here are five tips to help

Worried about holiday weight gain? Here are five tips to help

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by Jennifer Bain, RDN, LDN, MEd

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, and the hustle and bustle of the holidays already underway, it can be very easy to lose sight of yourself. Next thing you know, it’s Jan 2nd and you are shopping the sale racks for a size up in your favorite pair of jeans. We all have the best intentions to limit our intake, stick to one plate of food and just a couple of drinks at the office party this year, or even try the latest exercise buzz. But, small actions can add up and make a huge difference in helping to prevent the dreaded holiday weight gain. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your weight from creeping up this holiday season:

1. Stay Hydrated
With cooler temperatures, we often forget to drink water. Water is essential in keeping our metabolism running at full steam, plus we often mistake hunger pains for thirst. Before you reach for that cookie in the afternoon, or dessert after dinner, drink a glass of water.

2. Start your meals off with fruits and veggies
Fruits and veggies are full of vitamins and minerals that aid digestion, fiber to fill you, and of course, more water to hydrate. Starting with these foods at every meal, including holiday parties, can help curb cravings for sweets, salts, and fats.

3. Finish your meals with fruits and veggies
Went straight for the cheese and meats? Did you fill your plate with cookies? No worries, make the second helping or next meal fruits and veggies! Many times, we think the damage is done and tell ourselves we will start over tomorrow, next week, or even January 1st. Or we think we have over eaten and do not want to add even more calories to our day. Actually, adding even 1-2 servings of fruits or veggies may add a few more calories but it also adds a ton of nutritional benefits that will help to digest our indulgences and eliminate unnecessary nutrients.

4. Stay Active
This doesn’t mean committing to 2 hours of exercise every day. But even adding a 20 minute walk to your day will help keep your body functioning at its best.

5. Plan Ahead
Know your weekspots. Is it your aunt’s famous cookies? Then skip your Starbuck’s run that morning. Is it your Dad’s famous fried turkey? Then stick to a breakfast of fruits, nuts, and oats. Is it the stuffing and potatoes? Start your meal with your favorite side dishes and choose the veggies when you go for seconds. Is it the alcohol? Limit your drinks the rest of the week. Every meal is a choice, and every choice, no matter how small, can have great benefits.

If you have questions or would like more ideas on how to help survive your holidays while staying fit, please schedule an appointment — extended holiday hours now available!