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Top 10 Tips On How To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

With the holidays upon us we enter into that time of year when unwanted weight gain can put a real damper on an otherwise festive and joyous season.

Having a smart game plan going in will make all the difference. Here are my top ten tips on how to survive the holidays without packing on pounds and inches.

#1. Always Travel With Snacks

It can be difficult finding healthy food choices when traveling on the interstate or through airports to visit family and friends.

Instead of electing for high-calorie fast food choices simply carry some healthy snack options. Pack baggies with fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, trail mix, etc or take a few protein bars. Not only will you have more energy but you’ll also feel better when you arrive at your final destination.

#2. Don’t Show Up To Parties Hungry

Eat a healthy snack before attending a holiday party or munch on the veggie tray before sitting down for the main meal. Having low blood sugar will only increase the cravings for “trigger foods” which are likely to promote over-eating.

Also avoid alcohol and sweets before eating the main course as these are both potent appetite enhancers. You’ll tend to eat less if follow this simple trick.

#3. Drink Plenty Of Water

If you drink a couple glasses of water both before and during your party you’ll be less likely to over-indulge on alcohol and food. A great strategy to follow is the “1-1 rule” with alcohol. Simply alternate your alcoholic beverage with a glass of water to reduce your overall consumption.

#4. Use The Fiber Trick

Don’t overlook the powerful appetite control effect you can get from taking in some extra fiber. This is an overlooked strategy but one that works extremely well. Load up on some raw veggies before your party or eat a whole grain snack. The extra fiber will provide a sense of fullness and keep you from over-eating.

#5. Use The Small Plate Trick

This is another overlooked strategy that works like a champ. Instead of loading up a single large plate with food, use a smaller plate and make a few trips. You’ll be way more likely to eat less when you have a smaller plate.

#6. Protein First Trick

The biggest pitfall at holiday meals and parties is eating too many carbohydrates. It’s easy to get double and triple starches at holiday meals because there are so many choices.

A good strategy to follow is “front-loading” your meal with protein first before eating any starches. Fill up with a good portion of the turkey, ham, etc before eating any carbs. This way you’ll have less room for the excess starches that promote fat storing through insulin release.

#7. Avoid Festive Drinks

Look to pass on the traditional holiday beverages like eggnog and punches. They can be very high in calories, fat, and sugar. Instead stick with wine or light beers as better choices. If you want to consume a few adult beverages simply look to do so after your meal to minimize the effect they can have on stimulating your appetite.

#8. Practice Calorie Cycling

You already know that even with the best of intentions you’ll probably eat more calories than normal on the days you’re attending holiday parties. Just know that one day of eating excess calories is not likely to cause weight gain.

It’s the over-consumption of calories on successive days that promotes fat storage. A good strategy to follow is simply eating fewer calories the day before and the day after.

While this isn’t a green light to give into gluttony it does help to off-set the extra calories you’re likely to consume at holiday parties.

#9. Keep Score

This is another amazingly effective, yet simple strategy people often overlook. You know that you’re likely to indulge at holiday parties with food and drink that you wouldn’t normally otherwise have in your diet.

Make a commitment to yourself that you’ll have “X” number of drinks or sweets before walking in the door. Then simply count what you have and shut it down when you hit your numbers.

#10. Plan Times For Exercise

Don’t fall into the trap of telling yourself that you’ll start exercising the first of the year since you’re likely to blow it during the holidays. Exercising regularly during the holiday season will significantly reduce unwanted weight gain.

The key here is that you must set times for your exercise. You’re likely to be thrown off your regular routine with traveling, family in town, holiday parties, etc.



Know this fact and plan accordingly. Make sure to block out thirty minutes for exercise, even if it’s just walking, regardless of where you’re at and what’s going on.

Shane Doll is a certified personal trainer, fitness expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. Learn more how you can receive a no obligations FREE trial of his Charleston personal training programs and experience the Shaping Concepts difference for yourself.

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