10 practical tips to help you avoid holiday weight gain

An occasional high-calorie splurge won’t hurt you – but too many between Halloween and New Year’s Day can mean regret. Try these seasonal tips from registered dietitian nutritionist Colleen Lingley, R.D.N., at Northern Arizona Healthcare’s Flagstaff Medical Center:

  • Eat lower-fat and reduced calorie foods for days before a holiday feast, and for days after.
  • Prepare for temptations. If you want pecan and pumpkin pie, or mashed and sweet potatoes, plan beforehand to take a small portion of each instead of a full serving.
  • If cooking, make a few low-fat options, or if you are a guest, ask if you can bring a low-fat dish, such as a salad or fruit platter. If you’re not hungry, wait until you are – just don’t wait until you’re too hungry, because then you might overeat.
  • Slow down. Put your fork down while chewing, then take a drink between each bite. This gives your body enough time to let your brain know you’re satisfied.
  • Don’t eat in front of the TV or computer, or while on the phone. This makes it easy to lose track of how much you’ve eaten.
  • After the meal, start an active tradition like a holiday walk or bike ride.
  • Stay in control with a smartphone app that can manage food records, count calories, track nutrients and even provide guidance on healthy food choices.
  • Don’t deny yourself things you love, because the holidays are a time to enjoy what makes you happy…
  • …but avoid filling up or grazing on things you don’t especially like simply because they’re there.

If you aren’t finding success with these or other calorie- and fat-saving tips, and you have more than 100 pounds to lose, Northern Arizona Healthcare’s Weight Management Clinic may be right for you.