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Healthy holidays: Seven strategies for avoiding holiday weight gain

With the holiday season upon us, there are nearly endless opportunities to overindulge in high calorie, high fat foods and drinks. For many, it becomes a season of overeating and weight gain.

Nutrition coach and educator Donna Giovenco says that focusing on some healthy holiday habits, can help you avoid holiday weight gain and keep you healthy, happy and energized. 

  • Be realistic: Do not try to lose weight during this time of year. Instead, focus on maintaining your current weight.
  • Eat breakfast everyday. Breakfast jump starts your metabolism and provides your body with the energy it needs. Breakfast should include a whole grain and protein. For example: whole grain toast with one tablespoon peanut butter.
  • Do not skip meals or “save up” your calories for one big meal. Be sure to small meals every three to four hours. Eating smaller meals more frequently keeps your energy level high and keeps your metabolism going. 
  • Never go to a party hungry. Eat a light snack prior to any holiday gathering. By not being ravenous when you arrive, you will be less tempted to “over-indulge.”
  • Avoid drinking your calories. Alcohol is loaded with calories. In addition, consuming alcohol can induce overeating, which adds even more unwanted calories. Alcohol also dehydrates the body, making you feel even more tired and stressed.   
  • Water, water, water. Water will keep you hydrated, which helps your energy levels stay high.
  • Make time for exercise. Exercise relieves stress, burns calories, and increases your energy. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes, most days of the week.