Five ways to prevent holiday weight gain

One of the hardest times of the year to continue that ongoing battle of dieting is the holiday season. While the holidays are meant to be a time of rejoicing and sharing fond memories with family and friends; sugar cookies, eggnog and pies always find a way to be a central focus.
Carly Peterson, a personal trainer in Utah Valley, gives some tips to survive the holiday hoop-la without giving up some of your favorite treats.

1. Get moving

The most effective way of maintaining weight or losing weight is to keep active!

“Studies say you should try to aim for 200 minutes [of exercise a week], but any length of time is better than nothing,” explained Peterson. So take out that dusty stationary bike and peddle while you’re watching the tube, or take a walk up the canyon with a close friend. If you can’t seem to find any time to get out of the house, fire up some music and dance while you clean.

2. Aim for five

‘You are what you eat’ isn’t a myth. Load up on those fruits and veggies.

“Five servings each day is recommended to sustain those cravings and [are a] great way to fill up your stomach but not your calorie level,” said Peterson.

3. Control temptations

While you won’t be able to control every situation, focus on the ones you can. For example, do you constantly pass the vending machine and grab a Snickers bar, or stop at the candy dish?

Make a mental note of tempting places and try to control them. Make a pact with co-workers that goodies will be kept solely in the break room, not at the front desk or in various offices. Plan to go into the break room only once a day for a small treat.

4. Don’t overdo it

“One of the easiest ways to control weight gain during the holidays is to avoid over-indulging when going to holiday parties,” advises Peterson. “Look for the healthy foods and try [to] fill your plate with colorful fruits and veggies.”

Only allow one cookie or treat per day when enjoying holiday gatherings. You may have to compensate by reducing your calorie intake later in the day or burning a few extra calories with exercise.

5. Never go hungry

One of the worst things you can do is starve yourself all day for some kind of binging episode at the party. Grab a nutritious snack before going, like a piece of fruit or crackers with peanut butter. That way you don’t gorge when entering the party and instead enjoy small portions.

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