If you love the holidays but are dreading the waist expansion that comes with it, then check out the following tips on how to avoid holiday weight gain and start the New Year off without having to get rid of excess baggage!

As someone who gains 10 pounds just looking at food, I know a thing or two about keeping your weight in check over the holidays.

1.  Identify your Triggers - This is a Big OneAvoiding Holiday Weight GainCredit: morguefile.com

My trigger is a buffet table.  I don’t necessarily mean 5 course meals, simply a table full of snacks.  Even the so called healthy snacks such as veggies and dip will usually have some kind of high calorie dip as most people don’t tend to go “low cal” as the host of a party.  Bowls of roasted and salted nuts can be deadly for the waistline, so avoid at all costs.

The tendency is to “enjoy the holidays” and worry about the weight later!  You can still enjoy but not have to worry about the weight later, by following a few simple tricks.

Once you have identified your trigger, you need to create some kind of avoidance to it.  Example:  In my case I need to avoid the snack table.  I will be that person that gets talking and will simply grab a piece of this or a chunk of that, a chip here a chip there and over the evening I will end up consuming a meal with the amount of calories. 

2.  Sugarless Gum is My Biggest Trick

Simply pop in a piece of mint sugarless gum and then try and snack!  Not going to work, and even if tempted, I would have to make an effort to get rid of the gum.  Plus I find the mint flavours (don’t go for fruit flavours or it may spark your appetite, stick to mint if Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain(121041)Credit: morguefile.comyou can) sort of put you off some of the snacks.

3.  Eat Before You Go Out

This has helped me out of many situations.  If I am the slightest bit hungry when I head to a party then I will start to nibble and then nibbling leads to endless calories.  So, I will have a protein snack and a carb, such as cheese folded over on one slice of whole grain bread.  I find this type of snack gives me the will power to avoid the snack table.

Plus I simply stay away from it, and get talking to others and between having had a snack before I leave and chewing a piece of gum, this totally helps.

4.  Drinks Can Be High in Calories – Watch Those Holiday Nogs

Before you get to your party, have a talk with yourself as to how many drinks you will have.  If you decide that you will have one glass of wine, then get your host to mix it in a tall glass with some club soda or sparkling water. 

This will feel like you have a large drink that you can now nurse through the evening and yet you only had a glass of wine.  A glass of wine can have upwards of 250 calories depending on the size of the glass that is used.

Some glasses look like the size of fish bowls now.  So, make sure it is a 4 to 6 ounce glass of wine then pour into a large glass and add the sparkling water.  This is a wine spritzer.  Don’t drink it all at once, basically nurse it for a good long time and then switch to water.  Always have a glass of something in your hand or the hostess will keep filling it and then you just don’t know how many calories you had.

Of course if you start feeling tipsy or have some kind of urge to dance on a table then you know you had more than one! (Hopefully you are staying over at that point!).

5.  Brush Your Teeth or Chew Gum When Baking

I used to love baking when the kids were younger, but I had a really bad habit of “tasting” I still do even when cooking, so I know this can be a bad habit, but I found if I brushed my teeth before baking I didn’t have the urge to taste this or that.

6.  Watch those Hot DrinksHoliday Weight Gain(121042)Credit: morguefile.com

Maybe you normally would have tea or coffee, with a bit of milk and sugar but now you are meeting friends and family at places such as Starbucks and getting eggnog lattes or other specialty drinks.

The problem is that many people forget about liquids when it comes to watching fat or calories.  Sure it is the holidays, and one here or there is not likely to add too much, but these can become habit over the holidays, and even 2 or 3 of these a week will start adding pounds on.  An eggnog latte is 400 calories!  Plus you may be tempted by cookies as well.  Stick to your coffee or tea when you can.

7.  Let it be Known Early that You Are Avoiding Sugar This Year for Your Health

This will be the key or hint to letting people know that you do not want boxes of chocolates for a present this year.   If you don’t have any in your house then you won’t eat them!  If you do end up with chocolates gifted to you.  Smile nicely and say thank you then promptly go and visit your neighbour and offer them up!  There is nothing wrong with re-gifting chocolates (as long as you didn’t open them first!)

8.  Get Outside When You Can

I don’t just mean step out the door and look around, really get outside.  Put on your coat and boots and head out for a walk.  Drag some friends and relatives out with you too!

It is really nice that friends and family gather at the holidays, I wish it could happen more during the year.  So we tend to cram as much visiting, food and cheer into these visits and forget about the exercise and some of the routines we may have had during the week. 

If you have a busy office or are on your feet all day for your job, then you suddenly have a couple of weeks off and you are now partying the nights away, then the pounds are going to add up.

So, instead of following the herd when it comes to your New Year’s resolution, such as “losing weight” you can think of something else, because you avoided the triggers.

Maybe you would prefer to spend your time shopping in the after holiday sales, but at least you won’t have to up the size of anything because you will have avoided the dreaded holiday weight gain.