The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

December 18, 2013

10 ways to avoid holiday weight gain

On average, Americans gain one to two pounds during the holiday season each year. This weight gain does not seem excessive, but it tends to accumulate over the years. The holidays can be difficult when trying to watch your waistline. Use the following tips to avoid adding inches to your waistline, while still enjoying the holiday season.

• Moderation is key. Don’t deprive yourself of all the tasty treats during the holidays. Be reasonable and make sure to pay attention to portion sizes.

• Do not skip meals. Skipping meals can result in overeating. Instead, eat a small lower-calorie snack or meal before holiday parties.

• Be selective. Choose only foods you really want to eat and skip those you can live without.

• Use a smaller plate. This allows you to put less food on your plate.

• Don’t forget to exercise. Include exercise as part of your holiday routine in order to avoid additional weight gain. This also helps with the extra holiday stress.

• Wait for seconds. Wait 10 minutes before going back for seconds to see if you’re still hungry.

• Savor the nutrients. Fill up on high-protein and high-fiber foods such as lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

• Cut desserts into smaller portions. Cut desserts into bite-sized pieces or cut your favorite pie into 10 pieces instead of eight.

• Move away from the buffet. Avoid unconscious nibbling by moving away from the food tables.

• Beware of “liquid calories.” A glass of eggnog can have up to 400 calories. An average can of beer or soda has 150 calories. Hard liquor contains 175 calories for two ounces and wine has about 80 calories per half-cup.

*Courtesy of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

For more information, contact your Clinton Hy-Vee registered dietitian. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Amanda Stecker is a registered dietitian with Hy-Vee.

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