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A Dieter’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays

If you’re on a diet, it can be hard to stay on track during the holidays. In fact, most people gain 2-5 pounds every year between Thanksgiving and the New Year. While the key to surviving the holidays might be “everything in moderation,” that can be easier said than done, with events, celebrations and temptations around every corner. Here’s a quick guide to maintaining your waistline this holiday season.

Focus on maintaining your current weight

Don’t put extra pressure on yourself to try to lose weight around the holidays. Aim to maintain your current weight, and plan your weight-loss goals for after the New Year. That way, you won’t feel deprived as others celebrate. It can be helpful to write down a plan to help yourself stay on track.

Tips and tricks for resisting temptation

These tips and tricks can help you resist temptation at holiday parties this season.

  • Plan small splurges, so you don’t wind up binging. Review your eating plan for the week, and give yourself permission to have a few small indulgences.
  • Portion control is key to maintaining your weight. Allow yourself to enjoy small portions of higher-fat and calorie foods, then fill up on healthier fare like vegetables, salads, and lean meats.
  • Eat before you go out. If you’re already feeling full, you’re less likely to overindulge.
  • If there’s a buffet, fill up your plate, then head to a table to eat. Don’t stand next to the serving table, which can make it easy to overeat.

Find time for fitness

Staying active this winter can also help you maintain your weight. Even though schedules can be challenging, try to maintain a fitness schedule. Regular exercise can also help you handle any extra stress that’s so often associated with the season. On days when you have party plans, try boosting your activity level to help balance out any splurges.

Cook healthy dishes

If you bring a dish to a potluck party, bring something healthy, so you know you’ll have a nutritious option. And if you’re hosting at your house, serve healthier options. Try whole grain breads, steamed veggies and lower-fat versions of classic dishes. Try new, lighter dishes—including alcohol free “mocktails.”

Stay firm

Sometimes, friends and family members can unwittingly sabotage your diet by encouraging you to continue eating. Be polite but firm, decline seconds, or offer to take home leftovers to bring into work the next day.

Published on: November 30, 2015