During the holiday season, there are a lot of traditional holiday foods, like turkey, mashed potatoes, biscuits, pumpkin pie as well as many other favorites available that if consumed in large quantities can add weight, but by consuming them in smaller quantities you can avoid weight gain.  Moderation is the key for holiday eating and throughout the rest of the year.  When you consume more calories than your body needs at a given point in time, the excess is stored as fat which causes weight gain.  When going to Christmas or other holiday parties, try to eat a little here and a little there throughout the evening, but never a large full plate at once.  When having meals with family and friends at restaurants or in homes keep the portion sizes small and take the extra food to go.  It’s okay to enjoy those holiday foods but just eat a little at a time. Eating even the same amount of food as you normally would in a day but spreading the food over six meals instead three is a great way to reduce your body’s ability to store food as fat.  This principle works not only with holiday weight gain, but all through the year.


At holiday gatherings, mingle, enjoy the company and the holiday dishes and while your at it drink plenty of water.  Consuming at least 60 to 70 ounces of water daily will aid your body in the metabolism process and in turn help you to burn calories and lose body fat.  Drinking enough water will also decrease water retention in your body, a process in which your body conserves water and weight if it is not receiving enough.


After eating a meal of holiday food dishes with friends and family, excuse yourself for a few minutes to take a brisk walk around the block or to perform some type of low impact movement.  This activity will begin burning the calories (basically using the energy you just consumed in the form of calories) by putting them to use and help you avoid them getting stored as fat and causing holiday weight gain.  If you don’t currently engage in one, begin an ongoing exercise routine that includes both resistance and cardiovascular training.  Engaging in these types of exercises on a regular basis will speed up your metabolism which means your body burns calories quicker causing you to lose body fat and weight.


These steps are simple but can have a major impact in helping you to avoid holiday weight gain and even lose weight during the holiday season.




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Produced by Mayo Clinic staff

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