Choose Smart Holiday Eating to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

By:  Donna Quirk, MBA, RD, LD
LMC Clinical Nutrition Manager

Happy Holidays everyone! 

We have all heard the statistics about holiday weight gain.  You attend office parties and family get-togethers.  Co-workers, family, and friends offer your favorite holiday sweets as gifts.  There seems to be food everywhere!

For many of us, our holiday traditions have been passed on through generations.  Many of those favorite traditions include great food.  I know mine do!  Here are some tips for enjoying your favorite holiday foods without the traditional holiday weight gain.

 1.  Listen for and live by your body’s hunger and fullness cues.  The best advice for maintaining weight is to eat when you feel hunger pangs and stop eating when you are comfortably full without feeling stuffed.  Eating when you are not hungry means you are taking in calories your body does not need.

2.  At parties, choose foods that are unique or special and bypass foods you eat all the time.  We all have foods we love but don’t eat frequently.  Eat and enjoy those foods.  You will build in moderation while having a flavorful food experience.  And let’s face it – you can eat those pretzels any time.

3.  Consider a “one-a-day” rule.  Choose one holiday favorite – a cookie or candy – a day to control calories.

4.  Receiving a lot of food gifts?  An abundance of food in the house does not equal eat the abundance of food right now.  Freeze food gifts.  You can pull them out later in the year to enjoy at home, for parties or to take to office luncheons.  Another idea? Donate food gifts to a local food bank.  Food banks need donations at this time of year.

5.  And, finally, don’t give up on exercise.  Prioritize exercise!  You will use the extra calories you eat, help manage holiday stress, and feel great!

Best Wishes and Happy Holidays!

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