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Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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The holiday season is just around the corner. It is the time of the year to celebrate, relax and of course, indulge! Temptations are endless as you will come across lots of appetizing foods at parties and gatherings. Hence, a large proportion of adults gain weight during the holiday season which is difficult to get off and, consequently, adds up year after year. But the good news is - there are several ways to celebrate this season without gaining those extra pounds.

  1. Avoid temptations: While it is tempting to indulge on holiday goodies, you need to resist temptations. Stay away from tempting foods as much as possible. For starters, don’t keep cookies, cakes and candies in your refrigerator at home or at your workspace or pantry in the office. Make a plan on how you will avoid tempting situations or places.
  2. Choose fruits and vegetables: Instead of eating calorie-dense holiday treats, eat more fruits and vegetables. Aim for five or more servings a day to keep you nourished and feeling full for longer. Make sure you prepare vegetable dishes and fruits for the holidays or if you are at parties, fill up your plate with more fiber. This way, you will be able to consume fewer calories.
  3. Limit your food intake: It is always good to keep a balanced, varied and moderate food intake whether it is during the holiday season or on regular days of the year. But during the holidays when food temptations peak, limiting your intake is of prime importance. It may be difficult to refrain from consuming desserts or candies, yet you can control how much you eat. One way is by setting a limit of how many sweets you are allowed to eat over the course of a day, maybe just a small slice of cake or a single cookie. Don’t go to a party hungry. Make sure you eat a serving of fruit, vegetable or whole grains before you go to any gathering to avoid overeating. You can also drink a glass of water prior to eating and use a small plate to make sure you don’t consume much food. Avoid fatty and sugar-rich food items.  If someone asks you to eat a specific food, politely decline.
  4. Increase your physical activity: Trying to resist food temptations may not always work and you need to put forth effort to burn those extra calories. Ideally, exercise is done 2-3 times in a week for 20-30 minutes a day, but since you might be eating more than usual during the holidays, you can increase either the number of times you exercise in a week or the duration, or perhaps both.
  5. Use stevia or honey for desserts: Holidays won’t be complete without delightful desserts. If you really have a fancy for desserts and sweets, try preparing some with stevia or honey to control the amount of sugar. Stevia is a no-calorie sweetener known to have a number of health benefits and honey is a healthier alternative to sugar. 

The holiday season is definitely not just about good food; it is a season to spend quality time with your family and friends. So, instead of focusing on food, focus on the people around you and enjoy the holiday cheer!

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