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Are you dreading the holiday season for fear of gaining weight?

How can you try to maintain your weight during such a festive time?  I’ve put together these 4 sure-fire tips to help you keep the extra holiday pounds off.

Holiday weight loss tip # 1.  Don’t “Save Room” for Dinner

Don’t’ skip breakfast or lunch to save your calories for the holiday dinner or party.

When you show up to a holiday event starving because you haven’t eaten all day, you’re more likely to make unhealthy choices and overeat. If you know you are going to be consuming more calories than normal for dinner, plan your other meals accordingly. For example, if you usually have a big lunch, pare it down. Some good choices: A half of a turkey sandwich on whole grain and a bowl of broth based soup (chicken, vegetable or tomato).

If you are still hungry, about an hour before the event, take the edge off your with a 100- to 150-calorie snack. Make sure that your snack includes protein, carbohydrates and healthy fat to keep you full.  Some good choices would be apple slices and nut butter, string cheese and a few crackers, or some plain yogurt with fresh fruit and granola.

This way, when you arrive at the party, you won’t be tempted to fill up on potentially diet-busting appetizers.

Holiday weight loss tip # 2. Be Mindful

So many tempting dishes to choose from!  Instead of tasting everything, help yourself to a few of your favorite dishes. If you have been looking forward to Aunt Meg’s ravioli all year long, take a reasonable portion and indulge mindfully.  Savor each bite and put your fork down between mouthfuls.

It takes at least 20 minutes for the message to get from your belly to your brain to let you know that you are full. So enjoy the company or grab a cup of coffee before taking a second helping or dessert. Listen to your bodies signals when it’s telling you that you are full. Remember, you don’t need to be uncomfortably stuffed because you ate too much.

 

Holiday weight loss tip # 3. Keep it Movin’

Exercise goals and gym attendance tend to take a back seat in November and December with the holiday season. But exercise is especially important during these months. Not only does exercise burn calories, it also leads to an improved mood and decreased stress. And that’s what I consider a “Win-Win,” especially if you are an emotional eater. And this doesn’t mean you have to join a gym. You can sneak in exercise by parking farther away from the store entrance, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or taking a brisk 10 minute walk to drop your mail in the mailbox.

 

Holiday weight loss tip # 4. Politely Decline

How often have you felt pressured or guilted into eating foods because the hostess will be disappointed if you don’t try their double chocolate cake or other diet-busting food? Learn to say no politely, such as “I couldn’t eat another bite. Everything tasted wonderful.”

Don’t let your holiday goals can be derailed by friends, family members, or co-workers. Remind yourself of all the reasons you don’t want to eat unhealthy foods. Remember, this is your goal, and it is ok to do what is best for you and your health.

If you simply can’t get away without accepting something unhealthy or fattening on your plate, you can just leave it on your plate as you continue to socialize and enjoy the company.  Just because it’s on your plate, doesn’t mean you have to eat it!

Remember, the holidays are meant to celebrate good times with family and friends. Enjoy the holidays and plan effective strategies to help you maintain and achieve your weight loss goals. Success will give you one more good reason for holiday cheer. Happy Holidays!

 

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