Goodwill isn't the only thing you’ll be carrying around after the holidays. There's a good chance you'll be lugging a few extra pounds.
You can avoid holiday weight gain by following this advice from registered dietitians at New York-Presbyterian Hospital:
- Plan ahead. Use the "calorie bank" concept. To give yourself more leeway, avoid calories the week before the holidays.
- Never go to a party hungry. Before you leave for a party, snack on fruit, nonfat yogurt, or vegetables. You'll be less tempted to overindulge.
- Control your surroundings. Never get into a conversation while you're sitting or standing beside a platter of your favorite cookies.
- Bring a low-fat food dish to the party. Share it with other guests.
- Fill your plate with vegetables and lean protein foods. You can add a few small samples of high-fat foods.
- Eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you're full.
- Devise a strategy for how you're going to handle gifts like cookies, candies, and other sweets. Keep one or two and give the rest away. Don't leave them out in the open. This may tempt you to binge.
- Limit your alcohol consumption. Alcohol contains many calories. It stimulates your appetite and reduces your willpower. Drink seltzer or mineral water with a twist of lime or a nonalcoholic tomato juice cocktail.
- Don't let holiday activities get in the way of your exercise program.
- Strive for moderation. A forkful of cheesecake is better than a whole piece.
SOURCE: New York-Presbyterian Hospital, news release, November
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