Americans gain about one to two pounds during the holidays. While this doesn’t sound so dramatic, research shows it adds up over the years. Luckily, there are tricks to avoid holiday weight gain. We’ve got you covered:
Tip #1: Don’t Skip Meals
Saving your appetite for a big holiday party or feast? Don’t. Skipping meals during the day usually results in overeating. It is especially important to have breakfast, as research shows that those who eat this important morning meal tend to consume fewer calories throughout the day. Include lots of fiber by eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fiber-rich foods are high in volume and will satisfy hunger but are lower in calories.
Tip #2: Eat Small Portions
Holiday meals tend to be large, buffet-style and include second and third helpings. While one might not eat an entire cake, a common mistake is eating large portions of foods that are perceived as healthy, but they’re simply not. It’s important to include nutrient-rich foods in your diet, but also remember that these foods also have calories and should be eaten in moderation. Using this trick at the holiday dinner table will allow you to maintain a healthy diet — one that includes dessert!
Tip #3: Avoid Overeating
There are many strategies to help you avoid overeating. For example, using a smaller plate lets you put less food on your plate and encourages proper portion sizes. Also, start by filling your plate with veggies and salad before going to the entrees and desserts. Eating a salad before your meal can help you eat fewer calories overall. Eat slowly and enjoy every bite, and before you go back for a second round wait 10 minutes to see if you’re really still hungry.
Tip #4: Keep Moving
After dinner, get some physical activity. It’s important to get up from the dinner table and keep your body moving. This is a great time to go for a walk and catch up with family members, or play catch or a game of basketball with the kids.