holiday weight gainContributed by Info Guru Terri Wallace

The holidays are notorious for adding an extra five or ten pounds.

Those few extra cookies at work, that pumpkin bread your neighbor drops off, the eggnog…it all adds up! Luckily, there are things you can do to keep those pesky “Festive Five” at bay.

10. Smaller Plates

Smaller Plates

One simple trick is to use a smaller plate. When you use a full sized dinner plate, it is tempting to fill up every bit of space with food…especially at potlucks or buffets where you want to try a “little bit of everything.” Trade in the full sized plate for a dessert plate and only fill it up once. By reducing your portion size, you can keep help keep from packing on the pounds.

9. Calorie Awareness

Calorie Awareness

When that glass of eggnog is passed your way, it is easy to swallow the creamy spiced goodness rather than concern yourself with calories. But ignorance of calories won’t keep the pounds away. Consider trading in the original eggnog with a lower fat soy version. You get all of the rich taste without the fat and calories. If you simply must indulge in the original version, make sure to only partake of a cup or two over the season instead of making it a daily treat.

8. Conscious Snacking

 Conscious Snacking

Another trick to avoid the holiday pounds is to make it a point to snack on healthy foods before parties or gatherings. A handful of baby carrots or an apple and some almonds prior to the office Christmas party will keep you bingeing at the buffet.

7. Realistic Portions

 Realistic Portions

No one wants to deprive themselves during the holidays, and you don’t have to! Instead, cut down on your portion size. Instead of taking a wedge of fruitcake, take a sliver. Apply this some idea to the foods you make at home, too. Make cupcakes instead of a cake. Bake smaller sized cookies instead of cookies the size of a small poodle. Keep the portions realistic and you stand a much better chance of fitting in your pants come New Years.

6. Tell the World

Tell the World

Don’t be shy about your desire to eat moderately over the holidays. By owning up to your intentions, you stand a better chance of being held accountable, and it may also help deter well-meaning friends and family from pushing you to take one more bite. So, post it on your Facebook, tweet about it, and tell the office gossip about your plan of “zero growth” this holiday season.

5. Keep Active

keep active

It is easy stay stagnant on the sofa eating Christmas cookies and watching “It’s a Wonderful Life,” for the eleventh time. But that is a sure-fire way to end up in your “fat pants.” If you want to keep the pounds away, you’ve got to get moving. Go for a walk in the snow, go caroling with friends, go skiing, shovel snow…just do something!

4. Drink More Water

 Drink More Water

Face it; the odds are good that you aren’t drinking enough water. Determine how much water you need, and start drinking. Not only does the consumption of adequate water help you feel more satiated, but it also helps make your skin and hair healthier and shinier! Moisturize me!

3. Pack Your Lunch

Pack Your Lunch

Whether you eat at home or at work, plan ahead and pack your lunch. When you work from home…just seconds away from your well-stocked fridge…it is all too easy to grab a bite out of boredom, or as an excuse to get up, or because that first piece of cake was mighty tasty so it stands to reason that a second piece will be twice as nice. And officer workers are not immune from the hidden dangers of the holiday kitchen. Well-meaning clients and vendors frequently send edible tokens of their appreciation. This does not bode well for a hungry tummy. Instead, plan ahead and pack a nutritious meal to help ward off temptation.

2. Safety in Numbers

Safety in Numbers

There will be times when your dedication wanes, when co-workers try to sabotage your efforts, and when the siren’s call of the pfeffernusse is too much to bear alone. This is when you need a Holiday Helper to assist you in your efforts and to strengthen your resolve. Recruit other like-minded friends to join you in your efforts to battle the bulge…and keep them on speed-dial.

1. Divide and Conquer

Divide and Conquer

One way to ensure that you don’t overdo it on more calorie dense foods is to divide your plate into sections. One half of your plate should contain non-starchy vegetables, one quarter should contain protein, and one quarter should contain a starchy vegetable or grain based food. One serving of fruit will round out the meal.