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How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

By on December 24, 2014
Dr. Nicholas Kaloudis

Dr. Nicholas Kaloudis

We all will attend parties and office gatherings to share a few festive moments with family, friends, colleagues and lots and lots of food. But when the holiday season is finally over, the scale reveals that we’ve gained some weight again!

Research studies show most adults gain some weight over the holidays. But don’t despair because this year can be different!

I recommend to my patients that they just try to keep their current weight, as opposed to focusing on losing weight.

So what’s the harm in a little holiday weight gain, especially if it’s just a pound or two? According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, most people never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays. The pounds add up year after year, making holiday weight gain an important factor in adult obesity.

But you don’t have to fall into this trap. It is possible to enjoy holiday goodies without putting on a single pound. Portion control is the key, I don’t believe you can’t eat food that you like — even indulgences — but it is the amount you eat.

Of course, it’s not easy to go on portion patrol when the temptations are endless!

Even though it’s hard to resist all the food around you, there are simple steps you can take that can keep the extra holiday pounds off!!!

1. Never Arrive Hungry

Don’t go to a party when you’re starving. Try to have a nutritious snack beforehand. If you do arrive hungry, drink some water to fill up before filling your plate.

2. Divert Your Attention

Many people forget that there’s more to a holiday party than food. Don’t look at the party as just a food event. Enjoy your friends’ company or dancing. Focus on something other than food.

3. Pace Yourself

Have you ever tried telling yourself you’ll only eat during the first half hour of a party?  This strategy is a mistake. If you cram in as much as you can in half an hour, you chew faster. Chewing more slowly will fill you up with less food. To munch at a leisurely pace, I recommend putting your fork down between every bite. This puts you in control.

4. Outsmart the Buffet

When dinner is served buffet-style, use the smallest plate available and don’t stack your food; limit your helpings to a single story. Go for the simplest foods on the buffet. Fresh fruit and vegetables and shrimp cocktail are good choices. Watch out for sauces and dips.

5. Limit Alcohol

Avoid drinking too much alcohol at holiday parties. It’s not just about calories, but about control. If you drink a lot, you won’t have as much control over what you eat.

6. Be Choosy About Sweets

When it comes to dessert, be very selective. Limit your indulgences to small portions and only what is very sensual to you.If you know you’re the type who can’t stop at one bite, you’re better off taking a small portion of a single dessert than piling your plate with several treats you plan to try.

7. Limit ‘Tastes’ While Cooking

If you do a lot of cooking during the holidays, crack down on all those “tastes.” People lose their appetites when they’ve been cooking, because they’ve been eating the whole time. Instead of tasting mindlessly every few minutes, limit yourself to two small bites of each item pre- and post-seasoning. Just put the spoon in and taste a little bit.

8. Walk It Off

Make a new holiday tradition: the family walk. Besides burning some extra calories, this will get everyone away from the food for awhile. Get people off the couch and move. Go out for a walk as a family before or after the meal. Walking not only benefits you physically, but also puts you in a mindset to be more careful about what you eat. There’s something about activity that puts you in control.

Have a very Merry Christmas,  and a Blessed and Healthy New Year!!!

About Dr. Nicholas Kaloudis

Dr. Nicholas Kaloudis is a highly regarded, board certified endocrinologist. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and owner of EndoHealthMD, in Manhasset, NY. His center provides comprehensive specialty care using current evidence-based practices, and the latest advances in medical aesthetics. He holds an appointment as Associate Clinical Professor at North Shore University in Manhasset. He has received numerous awards, and he has published articles in the field of Endocrinology. For more information and a listing of services provided call: 516 365 1150.