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The Battle of the Holiday Bulge: How to Win

By Genevieve Cunningham

The holidays aren’t here just yet, but recent studies have shown that the infamous holiday weight gain actually starts in October. We all tend to put on a few pounds once the holiday season begins to approach. The goodies, the travel, the parties … of course we all gain weight! Even if it’s a fairly common occurrence, gaining too much weight during the holidays can really set you back in the new year. To keep your holiday bulge under control, check out these simple tips.

Limit Your Indulgent Days

If you know that Thanksgiving is going to be a day of heavy eating, don’t allow any other indulgent days leading up to or in the few weeks following this day. That can be tough, but you’ll thank yourself in the long run. While your body may be able to handle that one day of gorging, it won’t handle day after day of overeating. Pick your days for indulgences, and stick to it like glue for real results through the season.

Skip the Alcohol

Holiday parties are ripe with mixed drinks, cocktails, and other alcoholic goodies. While most people love a good drink as much as the next, drinking your calories is a surefire way to gain weight without even realizing it. Most alcohol is calorie dense, and what’s more, much of it is mixed with sugar or carb filled mixers. It's OK to indulge just a little. Allow yourself a drink or two as an occasional holiday treat, but skip the heavy drinking as much as you can.

Eat Very Slowly

Holiday food is so good. It’s easy to want to rush your way through and go back for seconds. Instead, slow it way down. You'll want to take more time than any other time of the year. In fact, take twice the time it would normally take you to eat. Take sips of water in between bites. The longer it takes you to eat, the more full you feel, and the less likely you are to overeat or go back for seconds or thirds (or even more!). 

The holidays are fun and comforting, so there’s no need to completely ruin the fun. You can enjoy every minute of the holiday goodness without ruining all of your current progress. Just be wary, observant, and disciplined. With a plan of action, you can enjoy the holiday goodies without ruining your diet for the rest of the year.

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