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10 tips to avoid holiday weight gain

Most adults gain 5-10 pounds during the holiday season!  Take control of your health and well-being this month but making use of the following tips…

1. Stay active

During the holidays, we are most likely to lose everything we have spent the whole year to attain.  Schedule regular exercise into your weekly planner andmake it a priority!

2. Eat slowly

There is a time delay between your stomach being full and your brain registering that you’ve had enough food.  By putting the fork down between bites, you give your mind and body a better chance to communicate and prevent over eating.

3. Fruits and veggies

There is no reason to lose all the healthy habits we’ve worked so hard to gain.  Veggies in particular should still make up the majority of your diet.  Includeseven or more servings of fruits and veggies in your day to keep the holiday fat at bay!  An easy trick is to fill your plate halfway with a veggie dish before reaching for the starchy carbs.

4. Don’t go to a party hungry

By having a snack with some fibre and protein in it (nuts and seeds are great), you prevent overindulging on unhealthy appetizers once you get to the party.

5. Reach for small plates

It’s pretty simple here, small plate = less room for food! Avoid overeating with this simple trick (but beware the temptation for seconds, thirds and fourths!!).

6. Choose healthy desserts

There is no reason to deprive yourself during the holiday, but there is a lot of value in the old adage, “everything in moderation”.  Opt for fruit, Jell-O, or angel food cake first…and remember, if you fill up with veggiesprotein, and water during your main meal, you’re less likely to load up on the junk after.

7. Moderate alcohol intake

There is nothing more enjoyable than spending time with the ones you love during the holidays…and often that comes along with opening up a bottle of wine.  When consuming alcohol, try to keep your intake to 1 glass for females and 2 glasses for males.  Also, red wine will be more forgiving on your midsection than eggnog!

8. Learn to say no

Often we feel forced to eat because food keeps being placed in front of us.  Your health is your responsibility alone.  There is nothing wrong with saying no (politely of course) and no one will be offended if you do.

9. Manage your stress

This time of year has a lot to do with socializing, laughing, and enjoying yourself.  However, work can still be nuts and snowy roads can make for quick spikes in blood pressure.  Maintain your stress management practice – whether yoga, reading, meditation – to promote optimal health and control your cortisol response (the stress hormone related to increased fat around your midsection, hips and thighs).

10. Give back to yourself

It is easy to get caught up with the spirit of giving – rightly so.  But you should be on your “gift-list” too.  Pamper yourself, take a night off, and give yourself a chance to relax and refuel after a hectic year. You deserve it!