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How to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

by Hilton Head Health Registered Dietician, Felicia Hackett, RD

The holiday season is here and our healthy lifestyle has now become part of our holiday wishlist. Here are some strategies to help you optimize your healthy choices during this special time of year.

Thanksgiving

Be a Thoughtful Grazer

Focus on expressing gratitude rather than ruminating on food this Thanksgiving. Spend your time connecting with family and friends or practicing being thankful for your year of accomplishments. Try occupying your mind and body with activities like getting together for a flag football game or entertaining your guests.

When you do reach for food, grab for nutrient dense fare made of vegetables or fruit. Skip on the creamy and choose herbs and spices as flavor enhancers. For dessert think sliver not slice or dollop, not scoop. Make the Thanksgiving beverage a low-calorie Thanksgiving herbal iced-tea like cranberry vanilla or make that holiday wine a wine spritzer.

Make your day more about the thanks and the giving and less about the thoughtless grazing.

December Holidays

Think Small Wins

The month of December is all about holiday parties and the bombardment of tasty food and drinks that come with them. Think small wins throughout the month long celebration.

“Small wins turn into transformative changes.”

Pat yourself on the back for skipping on the Christmas cookie or fruit cake. Go for the big win and challenge yourself to a “0” gain weight goal going into the New Year. This way you get after your New Year’s resolutions instead of thinking you have to lose pesky holiday weight first. Avoid tempting fate by not standing near the seasonal cookies, pies, and candies and position yourself away from the food; out of sight, out of mind.  Include more mindful food experiences that create mindful pauses like cracking almonds to get to the crunchy nut.

Last tip for the holidays. Take notice of your holiday nutrition behaviors and see if you can tweak it slightly so that it aligns better with your food and fitness goals. For example why not change Santa’s cookies to Reindeer food of carrot sticks.

Happy Holidays and cheers to family and friends.

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