By Jessie Funchion, MS, RD, LDN
Pop quiz. . the average American gains how much weight during the holidays?
(scroll down for answer)
a) 1-2lbs. Most studies estimate that adults gain 1-2lbs, on average, between Thanksgiving and New Years. Not THAT bad, right? Well, if these couple pounds don’t come off every year, we’re looking at a 10-20lb weight gain each decade.
Instead of waiting until January to start your resolution of weight loss, why not go into the holidays with a goal of weight maintenance? If you maintain your weight through New Years, you’re at least 1-2lbs ahead of the curve. Here are some ways to avoid unnecessary weight gain this time of year.
1) Plan Ahead
o Before the party, think about…Situations that may trigger you to eat? How will you limit your exposure to food? Are there gatherings/parties you do not mind skipping?
2) Eat Before the Party
o Never arrive hungry to a gathering
o Saving up calories always backfires, it also gives you “permission” to overeat
o Keep choices healthy throughout the day
3) Control your Food Environment
o Your proximity to food can impact how much you eat
o Sit next to someone you feel eats healthfully and slowly
4) Bring Your Own Dish or Dessert
o Bring 1-2 healthy dishes you know you can eat
5) Practice Portion Control
o Use an appetizer plate or fill your plate only ½ or ¾ full
o Choose mostly protein, vegetables and 1 “fun” dish (eat this last)
6) Eat Mindfully
o Make your meal last at least 20 minutes and savor your food
o Put your fork down between bites. Make sure you’re sitting.
7) Stay Busy
o Volunteer to help clean up as soon as you are done
o Get started on another activity – gifts, games, dancing!
8) Splurge Strategically
o Splurge wisely at the end of your meal. You’re most likely no longer hungry, this is just to “get a taste”
o Tiny-size your sweet treat. Each bite is about 100 calories!
9) Practice saying “No, thank you”.
10) Stay positive and keep things in perspective.
o Even the most disciplined eaters deviate from their eating plan on occasion, don’t beat yourself up
o Get back on track right away (at the next meal)
Remember – weight maintenance during the holidays should be considered a success!
Sources & Resources