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The holidays are almost here, which means parties, potlucks, and lots of tempting treats. Studies show that the average American can gain seven pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. That doesn’t have to happen! You can avoid holiday weight gain with these tips:

  1. Use moderation with your favorite foods. You don’t have to skip Grandma’s cookies or your uncle’s famous sweet potato casserole – in fact, that may cause you to overindulge later. But you can maintain small portion sizes with your favorite foods and then get right back on track with your next meal.
  2. Fill your plate with healthy choices first. When you’re deciding what to eat from a delicious holiday spread, fill up on the healthier choices. If you choose veggies and lean protein first you’ll be less likely to eat too much of the higher calorie choices.
  3. No healthy choices? Bring your own. If you’re not sure there will be healthy options, you can always offer to bring your own. Bring a veggie tray or salad with seasonal touches like butternut squash or cranberries. Chances are others will appreciate the healthy options as well!
  4. Avoid extra stress. Try to focus on the reason for the season and enjoying the company of those you love. Piling on added stress can also lead to extra pounds. Limit your activities to things that are most important to you and schedule time to exercise and prepare healthy meals.
  5. Focus on active quality time. With family visiting from out of town or friends planning get-togethers, think about planning for a healthy option like running or walking a 5k. The YMCA Mistletoe Run is a great choice and has a festive spirit.
  6. Make time for exercise. Building time for exercise into your schedule can help you reduce stress and stay on track with healthier choices throughout your day. Busier schedules are a great reason to try a class at a new time of day. Maybe your evenings are booked with holiday parties but you could make time for an early morning or lunchtime class. Check out schedules and class times here.

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