By: Claw Grant Motivation

Let’s be real, it’s that time of year when eating becomes a hobby. Friends and family from all around celebrate with a big feast! However, there is a downside. More than 75% of people’s yearly weight gains happen over the holidays according to a study. On top of that, research shows the majority of that added weight isn’t lost the following year.

But don’t fret, there is still hope. With these 10 tips, you can still eat, drink and enjoy the holiday season without becoming a turkey yourself.

1. Be Realistic

According to one study, 15 percent of participants admitted they were trying to lose weight between Thanksgiving and the new year. But they still gained the same amount of weight as others who were not trying to shed pounds. A more realistic plan is to put off slimming down efforts until after January 1st.

2. Hydrate

With all the holiday chaos of shopping and preparation for guests, it’s easy to forget to drink plenty of water. People should have at least eight glasses a day. We typically overeat when we are thirsty, so drinking enough water will help keep away that desire to stuff our faces.

3. Limit Your Alcohol Intake

The calories from alcohol consumption really add up fast. A 12-ounce beer has 140 calories and a 5-ounce glass of wine has 100. Plus, most people typically tend to eat more junk food after having too much to drink. So stick to just a drink or two, or avoid alcohol altogether by volunteering to be the designated driver.

4. Choose Your Glass Wisely

A 2013 study found people pour 12 percent more wine into wider glasses than into more narrow glasses. (A standard 5-ounce pour might look like a tiny amount in a large wine glass.) Sometimes people overfill their glasses with white wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, because the lack of disparity between the glass and white wine makes it harder to see when to stop.

5. Eat Slowly

Research shows that eating slowly tends to make you eat less food. Here’s a tip: Be sure to swallow each mouthful before taking another bite and chat with a food pal in between bites.

6. Beware of the Buffet

I for one, have a soft spot for buffets. A buffet with a bountiful selection can be a real challenge. “Think of a buffet as a menu in physical form,” says Karen Collins, R.D., nutrition adviser to the American Institute for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. “You wouldn’t order one of everything.” Make sure to scan the choices before grabbing a plate. Or if you’re like me, just take smaller portions of a variety of dishes that you really want.

Small Obtainable Goals

7. Outsmart the Food Pushers

During the holidays, we know the pressure from hosts to eat plenty of food at the table can be challenging. One way to avoid this trap is to ask for seconds. Honestly! Just add small portions, it’s a simple way to flatter your host without drifting into a food coma. Usually, hosts remember who asked for seconds but rarely recall the portion size.

8. Be Selective, Not Rigid

Don’t declare all party food off-limits. This strategy usually tends to backfire: if you decide to deprive yourself of all treats, you may end up going into an eating frenzy out of frustration and rebellion. Instead, find out what foods touch your soul the most and enjoy those in moderate amounts; at the same time cut back the on ultra high-fat and calorie-filled snacks and fillers you can really live without.

9. Don’t Starve Yourself Before Holiday Events

Not eating before a big holiday feast may seem like a good way to “save up” for the calories of awesome food, but showing up like this will only lead you to overeat like a starved lion. Instead, take the edge off your hunger before you leave home by eating a small, low-calorie snack. Something simple like an apple or yogurt can help you stay in control for when you arrive at the party.

Achieving Goals

10. Stay Active

Exercise is probably the number one thing to fall off our to-do list during the holidays, but it’s the best tool we have to avoid the holiday weight gain, as well as holiday stress and depression. Don’t feel down for not maintaining a normal workout routine due to travel or other commitments. Challenge yourself to add some physical activity to your day. After an enormous meal, consider going for a stroll. Or go take a solo walk (think of it as an excuse to give yourself space from annoying relatives!).

Accessed October 27, 2016. “10 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain,” Consumer Reports. 2015. Available at http://www.consumerreports.org/fitness-trackers/10-tips-to-avoid-weight-gain-during-the-holidays/

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