It’s that time again—the-thanksgiving-through-New Year’s-weight-gain-roller-coaster-ride that we all vow to bypass every year. You just can’t get away from it. There are goodies at work, Christmas and New Year’s party.

Did you know that the average person gains 5 to 7 pounds during the holidays? Do you have a plan for avoiding the typical overindulgence this season?  If you don’t, here are eight tips to keep in mind:

1. Know that you might indulge in some (if not all of these festivities) and include that in your long-term weight-management plan.

2. Eat the turkey and stuffing, it’s okay as long as you stop when you’re satisfied and not full.

3. If you‘re a food addict or use food to stuff your feelings, know that it will take time to correct habits and that you may fall off the wagon sometimes. Maybe start by keeping a journal of your trigger foods now to help identify and avoid them later.

4. Avoid myths, don’t believe that if you ate salads or worked out extra hard for a couple of days, that it’s okay to pig-out for the two weeks. Be realistic with your goals.

5. Smaller portions are crucial here. Eat fewer and smaller meals throughout the days prior to you big holiday meals, and select nutrient-dense foods that keep you satisfied longer. On the big day, drink lots of water and choose side dishes before the main course.

6. Work out longer (and do more cardio) the days preceding holiday meals and post-celebration days. If you still gain some weight it’ll be manageable because you planned ahead. 

7. Be mindful of the little things and know that your weight gain maybe water retention (from all the salt); and remember too that one pound of fat is the equivalent of 3500 calories more per week.

8. Avoid Negative self-talk. If you ate a little too much one day, you didn’t blow it or ruined everything.  Adopt positive self-talk. “I’ll start afresh today, this very moment,” or, “I am doing better now.” Love you and be kind, forgiving and compassionate with yourself.

What other habits have worked for you? And, what are your most successfully strategies when it comes to avoiding holiday overeating?

A journalist by trade, Corinne has written for both the military and civilian populations. She has a Master's in Writing and Bachelor's in English. She is also a military spouse and her family is currently stationed at Fort Hood.

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