How to avoid holiday weight gain

Jamie Wolff, Student Writer

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‘Tis the season to be jolly, to indulge and enjoy family, friends and food.  Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year only come once a year, so what’s the harm in having one more slice of that pecan pie?

A lot, actually.  Studies from the University of Oklahoma show the average person gains one pound over the holiday season and that those already overweight gain an extra three to five pounds.

What’s worse is that the weight stays on after the holidays are long gone.  Over time, this continual weight gain can lead to serious health concerns like diabetes and heart disease.

So how can you stop yourself from packing on the holiday pounds?  Avoiding grandma’s special recipe sweet potato casserole or your co-workers world famous double chocolate cheese cake is not a practical option.  In fact, if you try to avoid your favorite treats, you’re more likely to cave and binge eat.

Here are some easy ways to help keep the calorie count down or offset those extra indulgencies.

1. Drink water before, during and after your holiday meals.  Not only will it help you feel full faster but it is a calorie free option.  Drinks like soda, tea and hot chocolate are filled with sugar and empty calories.

2.  When attending a potluck, bring a healthy option.  A fruit tray (minus the dip), marinated vegetables or hummus are all great low calorie options.  When you fill your plate, take a large portion of your healthy dish first, leaving less room for the high calorie, high fat foods.

3.  Choose the smaller plate.  When you hit the buffet pick up a salad or dessert plate; if the food doesn’t fit on your plate, you can’t eat it.

4.  Be active.  Turn the music up and start dancing, suggest a walk around the neighborhood to look at holiday lights or challenge friends and family to a game of twister or limbo.

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