10 tips to avoid holiday weight gain

Eat Good, Feel Good, Topics, What You Should Know
Hira Khan, MD, primary care physician at McLaren Port Huron, recently offered her practical tips on how to avoid the holiday weight gain many people experience. In addition to her suggestions of being mindful of portions and making nutritious choices, Khan offers more tips below that will help you navigate the holiday party season and not gain additional weight.
  1. Plan ahead. Ask what foods will be served and offer to bring a healthy option to your next holiday gathering.
  2. Watch portion sizes. It’s easy to overload your plate during a holiday meal. Be mindful and use your best judgement when filling your plate with a reasonable amount of food.
  3. Eat a small snack before going to a party. Arriving to a party on an empty stomach will likely cause you to over-indulge and eat until you are full.
  4. Don't skip meals. While it may be tempting to skip a meal after a high-calorie night, skipping meals can throw off your metabolism.
  5. Snack wisely. Save desserts for dessert time. Leave the cookie tray and candy bowl off the counter to avoid the temptation to eat them throughout the day.
  6. Limit dessert to one serving. The holidays without a piece of cake or slice of pie doesn't feel right, but portion control is key. Limit it to one piece of cake or one slice of pie.
  7. Limit liquid calories. Beverages with alcohol, soda or other calorie-rich ingredients are often high in sugar and add empty calories to your diet. Alcohol consumption is also often linked to increased appetite.
  8. Be active. Avoid sedentary activities, such as sitting to visit or watch television and replace it with simple activities such as going for a walk.
  9. Control your stress. Stressed is desserts spelled backwards and while this antidote is silly, it may have some merit. People under chronic stress commonly have higher levels of cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress which may cause weight gain and cravings for junk food.
  10. Get plenty of sleep. Not getting enough sleep can make you hungrier and consume more calories.
Following these very practical tips, you can avoid excessive weight gain while still enjoying the holiday season.

Dr. Hira Khan is a primary care physician practicing at McLaren Port Huron Primary Care. She is accepting new patients. Click here for more information or to schedule an appointment.