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Monday, December 10, 2012

Another Tip Worth Passing Along- Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain edition

Today I got sucked into the stress of the holidays. I began to feel very pressured to get just the right gift and then worried that I'd spend way out of my little budget and would be very very sorry come January.

I was reminded of last year when I was in a really really tight spot financially but still wanted to give gifts to a few special people. I got creative and made most of them. I thought the time and energy of a heartfelt handmade gift would be highly appreciated... but my good intentions were not as well received as I had hoped. The giftee never actually said "really? that's it?" but I saw it all over their face. I was super bummed.

Stress is not what any Holiday is about, am I right? Stress causes all kinds of nasty things to your body- over-eating, under-sleeping, rising blood pressure, etc. etc.

No bueno.

So MY one "Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain" bit of advice?

no stress, no stress, no stress

However, the wonderful and brilliant folks over at My Fit Foods have come up with 6 more and I thought they might be useful to you as well. As always, MFF does not compensate me in any way, shape, or form for passing these babies along- I do it because I find it helpful &/or interesting. Enjoy!

My Fit Foods

Tip of the Week


6 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Research has shown that weight gained during the holiday season is typically never lost. This means that year after year, holiday weight is adding up and contributing to our heavily overweight nation. By no means do we need to give up all of our holiday traditions, but there are some helpful ways of enjoying the holiday season, as well as its food, without the added weight that tends to come along with it.

The holiday season can include company parties, family gatherings, drinks, and desserts. A few helpful tips can help us indulge without the fear of added weight gain:

Don’t skip meals! 
We've all heard that you should never go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, and the same goes for holiday gatherings. Going to events hungry can drastically increase the amount of calories we consume at a single sitting.

Taste your favorite dishes instead of eating an entire serving 
This allows us to enjoy those special holiday recipes without overindulging.

Be a mindful eater! 
We all know snacking in front of the TV can quickly lead to an empty bag of chips, so don’t do the same thing by the dessert table while chatting with friends. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed! It takes your brain 20 minutes to realize you are full so eat slowly and enjoy every bite.

Eat your veggies! 
Holiday recipes allow us to eat things we don’t normally have the time to cook. Use this time to focus on eating vegetables that are naturally low in calories and fat. Different vegetables provide different nutrients, so try and eat a variety of colors to get the most nutrition with the vitamins, minerals, fiber and disease-fighting phytochemicals you need for good health.

Stay hydrated & limit alcohol
Drink plenty of water before and after meals. Increased water intake will also help ensure you don’t over eat. Avoid specialty holiday drinks like eggnog that can be high in fat, sugar, and calories, especially if alcohol is in the recipe. Remember that alcohol or sweetened beverages should be consumed in moderation. Indulging in a spritzer or light beer is a good option when selecting a beverage to celebrate the holidays.

Exercise 
Being physically active increases metabolism, which means you burn more calories during the day than you would if you sat on the couch all day. Having a higher metabolism helps buffer the extra calories of the holiday season.  Use this time as an opportunity to take part in new family outdoor activities, such as ladder toss, horseshoes, or if you have the space – a fun family game of football!


Have a wonderful holiday season!

Melissa Berlin, RD LD
Corporate Nutritionist - My Fit Foods

Casey Schulte, RD
Nutrition Coach - My Fit Foods


We've included a helpful chart for when making those holiday food and drink choices. Consider it some "Food" For Thought :)