Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

The holiday season fosters a love-hate relationship with many people. They love the food and time spent with family but hate the ensuing pounds they gain from holiday feasts.

If you're looking for a way to enjoy the season while keeping the pounds off, Sandy Goldberg, PhD., has some tips to keep you confident when facing the scale in the New Year:

- Use numbers to your advantage. Try to be vigilant 80 percent of the time and allow yourself to stretch the parameters the other 20 percent of the time, for example.

- Do not go to social functions hungry. Instead, eat something healthy beforehand, and plan on light snacking at the party.

- Stay hydrated. Holiday recipes usually require a more-than-average amount of salt, so don't fall behind on your daily water intake.

- Outsmart the food pushers. Instead of succumbing to continuous offers for bigger portions, ask for seconds and serve yourself. This way, you control your own portions while also pleasing the host.

- Edit your diet. Instead of feverishly counting calories, decide before the meal or social function what you will eat more of and what you will eat less of. Edits to your diet can be made on a day-by-day basis to adjust for special occasions.

- Lastly, remember that nothing is black and white. Use these tips as guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules. If you stick to the guidelines throughout the holiday season, you'll still be able to enjoy yourself while also staving off the fear of the scale on Jan. 1.

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