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10 tips to stop holiday weight gain

by Mary C. Weaver, CSCS on December 18, 2012

eat the shrimp cocktail, not the foie gras!

’Tis the season when every social gathering seems destined to fatten us like geese intended for foie gras. But if you’d rather not enter the new year with tighter jeans, here are 10 strategies to help you survive.

No, I’m not going to suggest you consume only black coffee and celery sticks at your next party. Food is definitely part of the fun!

These tips will help you choose your calories wisely, enjoy goodies in moderation, and sidestep that one-pound weight gain researchers say most people will carry into the new year.

1. Eat something filling before the festivity. Sometimes we’re tempted to starve ourselves before a party, figuring we’ll bank all our calories till then. Bad idea. You’re much more likely to eat moderately if you’re not fainting with hunger. So have some soup or salad along with lean protein (turkey, chicken, fish, Greek yogurt, tofu, etc.) a few hours beforehand.

2. Don’t stand next to the food. The easier it is to get to the calories, the more we tend to nosh. Choose what you want, then head for a lively crowd that’ll keep you talking and laughing.

3. Save your drinking till you’ve eaten. Boozing is notorious for weakening your resolve around food. Once you’ve had your snacks or your meal, get rid of your plate—then enjoy your beverage. And make it a lower-calorie option: wine, a champagne spritzer, or a beer instead of eggnog or spiked punch.

4. Focus on foods that get a green light. Enjoy all the raw veggies and fruits you want. And have a portion of roast turkey (minus the skin), lean beef or pork (with fat trimmed), fish, shrimp, or other yummy proteins prepared without a lot of fat.

5. Proceed with caution when it comes to nuts and cheese. They’re packed with nutrition but carry a lot of fat calories.

6. Avoid red-light offerings. The foods highest in fat and calories include chips, crisps, and anything else fried; dishes swimming in cream, gravy, or butter; dips, dressings, and spreads; pastries; and bacon, sausages, and other processed meats.

7. Pick your indulgence. Scan the table piled with food, decide which are the healthiest options, and then choose one special morsel you’ll really enjoy. Fill most of your plate with low- and moderate-calorie foods and one small but delectable treat. Eat it slowly and savor every bite.

8. Select a less-damaging dessert. If you want to splurge on a sweet, choose one or two small cookies or a perfect piece of dark chocolate rather than a gooey, fat-laden cake.

9. Bring your own. Worried there won’t be anything nutritious to eat? Offer to bring a dish or two to add to the feast. Chances are good that other guests will appreciate the healthy options too.

10. Don’t succumb to all-or-nothing thinking. If you end up eating too much at a holiday party, don’t beat yourself up. We women tend to moralize about our eating behavior, and if we decide we’ve been “bad,” we’re tempted to think, “My diet is shot to hell, so I may as well finish that giant bag of chips.”

Give yourself credit for noticing the discrepancy between your intentions and the outcome, and think about what you might do differently next time. Try not to view the event as a failure but a learning experience that can lead to success.

Wishing you a merry Christmas!

 

Mary C. Weaver, CSCS
I'm Mary Weaver, your weight-loss and body-transformation coach. My specialty is helping women get in the best shape of their lives with satisfying diet plans, effective fat-burning exercise, and loads of encouragement and motivation. Check me out on Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!
Mary C. Weaver, CSCS
Mary C. Weaver, CSCS
Mary C. Weaver, CSCS
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Arrow
Twitter:
December 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Christmas pudding isn’t on the list – phew!

I think the hardest part will be the all or nothing when I have the inevitable slip. Will print this out and carry it around for motivations
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Mary C. Weaver, CSCS, M.S.
Twitter:
December 19, 2012 at 9:32 am

I hear you. A slip isn’t a disaster unless we decide it is. :-)
Mary C. Weaver, CSCS, M.S. recently posted..Why we don’t need the ‘all you can eat’ optionMy Profile

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Emergefit December 18, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Though they are all excellent, #3 is, in my opinion, the most important. Will probably use this Friday for my Emerge Fitness FB page. Nice!
Emergefit recently posted..The Mother Of Reinvention…My Profile

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Mary C. Weaver, CSCS, M.S.
Twitter:
December 19, 2012 at 9:33 am

Thanks, Roy! Sounds great.
Mary C. Weaver, CSCS, M.S. recently posted..Why we don’t need the ‘all you can eat’ optionMy Profile

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Karen Wali August 2, 2013 at 12:59 am

this is a great tip to stop weight gain, I am having problem on gaining weight I lose weight easily, but I gain weight easily, is this normal or its depend on our genes?thanks your blog is very helpful.
Karen Wali recently posted..Short Stay Active AdventuresMy Profile

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Mary C. Weaver, CSCS
Twitter:
August 5, 2013 at 10:01 am

Karen—thanks for your kind comment!

Your experience is very common, and what I call “bad dieting” is one of the primary causes of weight regain.

Most conventional diets are too low in calories, which has three huge drawbacks:

1. a slowdown in your metabolism
2. a loss of muscle mass, which independently causes a slowdown in metabolism
3. negative changes to appetite-regulating hormones.

There are loads of posts on this website on correcting that, and I also offer online courses that teach a much safer and more satisfying way to diet:

http://takeoff20pounds.com

and

http://bodytransformationbootcamp.com

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Karen Wali August 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Great Thanks Mary, I keep that on my mind, maybe I will changed my eating habit, skipping junk foods and welcome fruits and vegetables, thanks a lot.
Karen Wali recently posted..Short Stay Active AdventuresMy Profile

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Mary C. Weaver, CSCS
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August 11, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Wishing you all the best of success!
Mary C. Weaver, CSCS recently posted..One crazy reason you may be stuck at a weight loss plateauMy Profile

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