We know dieting is hard all 365 days of the year. Add holiday stress and rich, high-calorie foods to the mix, and those unwanted extra pounds will appear in no time.

Instead of having a goal to lose weight, set yourself a goal to maintain your weight during the holidays instead. Then, you’ll have the wiggle room to indulge a little (who wants to be a Grinch or Scrooge depriving themselves of delicious holiday food anyway?).

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD provided these great and easy tips to maintaining your weight during the holidays:

 

1. Control Portions – “Studies have shown that the more food we’re served, the more we will eat—even if we don’t particularly like what we’re eating!” Zelman said. Keep those portions small, especially when it comes to rich foods like gravy and dessert.

2. Keep Moving – According to the National Weight Control Weight Registry, exercise is even more important for maintaining weight loss than losing weight. Exercise can help you cope with holiday stress and give you more energy to tackle your “to-do” list. Zelman says, “Do whatever you can to squeeze in 10-minute intervals of activity throughout the day.”

3. Weigh In Regularly – We know it’s hard to look, but checking the scale regularly is the true test for weight maintenance.

4. Eat Plenty of Lean Protein – Lots of proteins like lean meats, skinless poultry, low-fat dairy, seafood and beans will keep you satisfied longer.

5. Have a Healthy Breakfast – Zelman says, “People who eat breakfast end up eating fewer calories throughout the day.” It helps boost the metabolism and helps you perform any task better.

6. Put it on a Plate – Putting your appetizers and food on a plate will help you avoid mindless picking at food that can add a lot of extra calories.

7. If You Don’t Love It, Don’t Eat It – “Why waste calories on foods that don’t knock your socks off?” Zelman asked. One bite can usually tell whether you love or hate it. “Use those extra calories for something you love.”

8. Enjoy Soup or Salad Before Going to a Party – Zelman said that a first course consisting of a large green salad with a light dressing or a bowl of broth-based vegetable soup can reduce the total calories you eat during a meal!

9. Satisfy a Craving with a Few Bites – We know this is hard, but stay in maintenance mode—enjoy just a few bites of rich foods like eggnog and pecan pie. You’ll satisfy your craving, yet save calories!

10. Savor Every Bite – Your food isn’t going to run off if you don’t eat it in an allotted time. Take your time, eat slowly and enjoy the flavors and aromas of each food. Zelman said, “Eating slowly will help you enjoy the meal and will give your brain time to receive the signal that your stomach is happily full.”

Don’t lose. Maintain! And enjoy the foods of the holidays guilt-free!

Your local Sparkle Market has all of your holiday party needs! Stop by today and save!

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