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Ten Ways to Avoid Getting Stuffed This Holiday Season

By James Beckerman, MD, FACC

It’s that time of the year again…we’re just getting over the turkey and stuffing, and any day now we’ll be hit with latkes, eggnog and the dreaded fruit cake. And with these holiday treats come a barrage of advice on how to avoid gaining weight during the holiday season.

First, the good news: The average person who gains weight during the next six weeks will only put on about 0.8 pounds. Not so bad, right? It’s true that more overweight individuals may gain a bit more, but it tends to be much less than we’re led to believe.

But the not so good news? That 0.8 pounds sticks. Like, forever. It turns out that most Americans gain on average about a pound each year during their adult lives. But the fascinating part of it is that it seems to happen primarily during December. So it stands to reason that if we can hold off the holiday weight gain, we might have a shot at avoiding the upwards weight creep that seems to happen to almost everyone else you know.

So let’s focus on December, and worry about New Year’s resolutions in the New Year. Try these ten ideas on for size!

1. Weigh yourself every day from now through New Year’s Day.

2. Keep a food diary during the month of December.

3. Limit television/screen time for the whole family during school holidays.

4. Limit holiday snacks and treats to one a day.

5. Bring healthy food to potlucks and parties.

6. Fill your plate with veggies first.

7. Plan your alcohol intake ahead of time.

8. Don’t skip meals in anticipation of social/food events.

9. Lay off the sauces.

10. Go skinless and avoid processed meats.

Here’s to a happy, healthy holiday season for all. And if you have any strategies that have worked for you, please add them to the comments section below!

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