The holiday season will soon be upon us. It’s hard to believe, but the average person only gains 1-3 pounds during the holiday season (mid November to early January). The problem is, most people never get around to losing even the smallest of gains. Over time, this can result in an extra 10-15 pounds on your frame.

We all know we shouldn’t overeat, but it’s tough not to during the holidays with the parties and family gatherings, along with the big meals and seasonal treats. Below are some tips to help keep weight gain to a minimum this year. As delicious as food may be, a tummy ache and heart burn never feels good. Your body, especially your heart and belly, will appreciate it. Be thankful for your health.

Candy Canes on Blue Background

Tips for minimizing/avoiding holiday weight gain:

Say no thanks politely – There will always be grandma or a pushy host who ‘encourages’ you to eat more. Don’t feel guilty about saying no to second or third helpings. Politely say you’re full and decline again and again. Even if their feelings are hurt, it won’t last for months like the extra pounds will.

Prepare and plan – Don’t starve yourself the day of a party. Schedule time to exercise beforehand. Eat healthy snacks so you don’t arrive ravenous. Walk through the buffet line or food stations to see what’s available. Pick and choose what you want to eat the most – don’t eat food just because it’s there. Focus on quality not quantity (eat what you truly love). Plan in advance how many drinks you’ll have – then have water the rest of the night (or drink one glass of water after each alcoholic drink).

Lighten up your recipes – If you’re the one cooking, do research about how to make your recipes healthier. Free info is available on the internet. Back in the day, everyone used lots of butter in everything. These days, you can make creamy mashed potatoes with less butter and it still tastes great!

Don’t fall into the ‘all or nothing’ trap – If you screwed up and ate half a pie, don’t fret and give up. Eating the other half is not the answer! Get right back on track the next day with a good workout followed by a healthy snack. Prepare and plan for your next party so you don’t overeat.

Keep up your exercise routine for health reasons and to maintain your sanity. Don’t wait until Jan. 1 to start or restart your routine. Start TODAY. On days when you’re extremely busy or unmotivated, take a brisk 10 minute walk. Don’t forget shopping counts as exercise too! It will clear your head and is better than not working out at all. Try to organize physical activities with your family and friends – ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing, etc.

Think before you eat – Holidays can be a stressful time of the year. Before you have another cookie, make sure you’re eating it because you want it, not because you’re stressed/depressed/angry/exhausted, etc.

Last but not least…

Socialize! Parties and family gatherings aren’t eating contests to see who can ingest the most. It’s about spending time with friends and loved ones. Get out on the dance floor, mingle and catch up with old friends. It’s hard to socialize if you’re constantly munching on food.

BollyX wishes you a happy and healthy holiday!

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