Avoiding Holiday Pounds

It’s that time of year again – no, not the holidays, but the time when everyone seems to come into your office armed with cookies and the office luncheon is filled with enough tryptophan and carbohydrates to choke a horse.

The other day, a study was released that showed that the highest number of heart-related deaths occur on Christmas, with the second highest number being recorded on December 26.

Now maybe it is family stress that is getting everyone or that last minute shopping, but I know that I personally pack on the pounds during the holidays because I love food.

How can you avoid it? WebMD recently listed the article “10 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain.” While that is no doubt easier said than done, just consider this advice to try to keep you healthy through this holiday season.

First, never arrive to a party hungry. Psychology Dr. Carol Goldberg says snack beforehand to avoid overeating.

Also, divert your attention at the party. After all, parties are about more than just eating. Hang out with old friends, play Guitar Hero, sing karaoke, just do something to take your mind off the 12,000 sausage balls still sitting on the table staring at you.

Another good suggestion is to pace yourself. That’s right – all the food doesn’t have to be eaten at once. If you eat a little, then wait a half hour, you may find your food has settled and you aren’t hungry AND don’t feel stuffed.

You can try to fool yourself by using a small plate at a buffet. I’ve found though, that often this just makes me go back for seconds because I don’t feel like I got a full plate the first time around. Just remember how important portions are when trying to maintain your weight.

Limit your alcohol. Not only are you cutting calories there, but some people tend to eat more when drinking. If you need to drink something, grab some water. It is good for you and will make you feel full at the same time.

Choose your sweets wisely. You don’t have to cut them out completely – come on, isn’t that pretty unrealistic anyhow? But limit yourself to only the chocolate items or one small sampling of everything or one piece of pie instead of one piece of each pie. If it is a pot luck, bring a low-calorie, low-fat dessert and just munch on that without (much) guilt.

One thing I am bad about if I am hosting a party is I want to sample while cooking. Try to cut down on that if possible. If you need to taste something to check seasoning, just have one small spoonful.

Finally, walk it off. That’s right, instead of sleeping on the sofa and in chairs after a big meal (our personal family tradition), take the family out for a walk.

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Libby Pelham

About Libby Pelham

I have always loved to write and Families.com gives me the opportunity to share my passion for writing with others. I work full-time as a web developer at UTHSC and most of my other time is spent with my son (born 2004). I love everything pop culture, but also enjoy writing about green living (it has opened my eyes to many things!) and health (got to worry about that as you get older!).

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