Taming holiday weight gain

It’s that time of the year — Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Years — to celebrate with friends and families and to enjoy the festivities. This is time of get togethers, parties and holiday cookies. This is also a time when people accept that they will gain weight.

Studies have shown that most Americans gain one to two pounds during the holiday season. This may not sound like much, but most Americans do not lose their holiday weight gain. Add this weight gain year after year and it can negatively impact your overall health.

The good news is you don’t have to deprive yourself during the holidays to maintain your weight. Try a few of these tips:

1. Control portions. The more food we are served, the more we will eat. Use a smaller plate to avoid large portions. Limit second helpings. Do not go to parties starving. 

2. Keep moving. If you have an exercise regimen, attempt to stick to your schedule. This might be difficult during the holiday season, so be active when you can. Small things such as parking your car further away from the store, walking to your festivities, taking the stairs helps!

3. Give into your cravings. But satisfy them with just a few bites! Mindfully indulge — do a quick survey of the food offered. Of the less healthy options select only a few you really want to eat and keep those portions small.

4. Watch your liquid calories. Just 8 ounces of eggnog has more than 300 calories. Make it a spiked eggnog and that will set you back almost 400 calories. Drink ample water or flavored seltzer. Also drinking too much alcohol at holiday parties makes you have less control over what you eat.

5. Manage the holiday stress. Let’s face it, the holidays are a stressful time — added responsibilities, placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves and others, interacting with “that relative, neighbor, or co-worker.” Devote some time every day to self-care — whether it is exercise, a good book, yoga, meditating, or a longer shower.

6. If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. If it isn’t worth the calories, do not feel like you have to finish it.

7. Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to make choices during the holiday season based on your personal preference. Do not feel guilty for saying yes to the cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, or deviled eggs. Be kind and compassionate to yourself during the holiday season.

From the Survivorship Team, we wish you Happy Holidays!

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