Enjoy Holiday Food While Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

‘Tis the season we get our grub on, only weeks later to often make fitness-related resolutions for the upcoming new year. So usually, all the extra eating and drinking adds to the scale, thus making the weight loss goal start off with added weight.

Pun intended.

After all, it’s been said people often gains 7 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I get it; the goodies this time of year are hard to resist! Is there a way to have your cake and eat it too – while not putting on the pounds? According to one expert, yes.

Via ABC Air Power Prep:

Between multiple parties, and a seemingly endless supply of baked treats left at the office by co-workers, it’s difficult to get through the holiday season in the same shape you started it. However, nutritionist and health writer Jessica Sepel tells ABC News that it’s possible to indulge in delicious Christmas-time treats without gaining those extra pounds — as long as you follow these simple tips:

– Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods, but practice “moderation”

“When we deprive ourselves of food, it often backfires,” she said. “We want to give ourselves permission to try all of the holiday treats…You want to balance with the healthier options, but don’t deprive yourself.”

– Never arrive at a holiday event hungry

While some people will “fast all day long” because they know they have a big Christmas dinner coming up, Sepel said this tactic often results in you overindulging or overeating when it comes to dinner time. “I say eat balanced meals throughout the day and especially have a healthy, protein-rich snack in the afternoon,” Sepel said. “You will find that you can really control your portion sizes and control by doing that.”

– Watch what you drink

Sepel also acknowledged that alcohol can be a big contributor to holiday weight gain, and while she says she recommends “absolutely” allowing yourself to drink, try to “go for the sugar-free version of cocktails, in moderation. My personal stopping at one to three drinks at a sitting, and then sipping the alcohol slowly,” she said. “So many of us drink so fast, it’s really nice to slow down and sip alcohol slowly.”

Thanks, Jessica.

And let me add in a personal gem: don’t skip out on the gym. We can try to counter the many food-cheat days with exercise. Also, drinking plenty of water can flush out extra sodium and even help us feel fuller so we don’t over indulge.

Look, every little bit helps this time of year! Enjoy your holiday season.