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How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

By Ashley Chapman 

Cold weather and family gatherings bring comfort foods during the holiday months. However, with comfort food comes unwanted weight gain.  While you may want to say no to all of the food, it is important to know that you do not have to! These tips can help you avoid holiday weight gain.

Portions vs. Servings Control 

It is important to know the difference between portions and servings. If you are preparing the food, you will have the opportunity to use servings to dictate how much you should eat. That is because servings is what the product suggests on the nutrition label. Serving sizes are generalized and are not specific to an age or weight range.

Portions are how much an individual chooses to eat. These vary from person to person, and does not have a measured amount. While servings can help a person stay on track with how much they are eating, they may not be eating enough when compared to their body type, age and weight.

It would be beneficial to use a combination of both serving size and portions to help guide how much you should be eating in one sitting.

Read Nutrition Labels

Nutritional labels can bring insight into what you are eating, from the amount of healthy nutrients (protein and vitamins) that are in your food to how much of the not-so-good ingredients are in it (sodium, trans fat).

While it can be difficult to find all of these labels during already prepared meals, it can be useful when eating desserts or snacks between meals. Pay attention to how much of your food is high in sugar, trans fat, cholesterol or sodium. Limit how much you eat of those ingredients as they may make you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes or high blood pressure over time.

Track What you are Eating

Tracking what you eat, especially during the holidays, can help you stay aware of your daily food intake. There are a few apps that you can download to your phone that can help track your daily and weekly goals.

Set Goals 

Before heading to your families' party or a work gathering, setting personal goals can help set the tone. Whether it is to avoid seconds or thirds or to have a smaller portion of dessert, setting a mental goal beforehand may help your ability to stay on track.

Do Not be Hard on Yourself

While it can be beneficial to be self-aware of what you are eating during the holidays, do not overdo it! It is important to know that one or two days of extra sweets will not be detrimental to your weight goals!

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Arvada, Colo.

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