The holiday party season is in full swing, and so is the potential for button-popping waistlines that most of us would rather do without. Here are a few strategies to help skip the holiday weight gain and not the party.
- Eat three square meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Skipping breakfast or lunch so you can munch more at the holiday party just doesn't work. Missing meals just means you arrive at the party already very hungry and are likely to eat more.
- Downsize plate size. Use salad or dessert plates to help keep portions in check.
- Take baby steps. Get the lay of the land before digging into buffet offerings. Remember, it takes 15 to 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that your stomach is full. So take your time eating to avoid overeating.
- Sip smart. Liquid calories add a lot to the bottom line. For instance, a half cup of eggnog can contain more than 200 calories. Sip favorite drinks, choose water or low- or zero-calorie options between drinks, and keep your alcohol consumption in check.
- Walk it off. The overriding factor in weight gain is "calories in vs. calories out." Since holidays tend to mean eating more calories, put some mileage on your shoes to increase the calories that you burn.
For more information on having a healthy and happy holiday season, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area and visit our Healthful Tips for Healthy Holiday Parties page.
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Reviewed September 2013