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The holiday season is here! For better or worse, these holiday celebration often centers around food.  We enter the holidays with the best intentions of staying the course with a healthy meal plan, yet find ourselves surrounded by temptations everywhere we go. Here are some tips to help maintain weight over the holidays:

  • Treat yourself just once a day!  Indulge in one item daily and savor its taste and texture.  Take a smaller serving, or cut out an extra 100 calories later in the day or burn a few extra calories through exercise. 
  • Eat your fruits and vegetables.  Aim for 7 servings daily.  They will satisfy your appetite as they contain fiber which induces fullness.
  • Get moving.  Keep on track for your daily exercise.  Take a walk or engage in some type of physical activity daily.
  • Control the risk of temptation.  Clear your home and office of tempting holiday goodies.  If you bake, keep a small amount for your family and give the rest away.  Share any gifts of food.
  • Balance protein intake.  Holiday meals tend to be higher in carbohydrates and low in protein. Include protein with every meal.
  • Fill up on healthy food firstNever go to a party hungry.  Eat a serving of fruit, yogurt, or raw nuts before you leave for a party. Choose mindfully at the food table and take your time. 
  • Get plenty of sleep.  Those who do not sleep adequately tend to be hungrier, consume more calories and exercise less. 
  • Manage your stress.  The holidays can be a stressful time, and stressed individuals have higher     cortisol levels which contribute to increased hunger and weight gain.
  • Focus on socializing, not food.  Conversations are calorie free! 

For more ways to maintain, not gain, this season, check out the video “Five Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating” and article “Tips to enjoy holiday meals without packing on the pounds” from our OSU Extension team.

Written by Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Mahoning County stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Jenny Lobb, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County  lobb.3@osu.edu

References:

Klemm, S. (2019). Helpful tips for healthy holiday parties. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

https://www.eatright.org/health/lifestyle/seasonal/helpful-tips-for-healthy-holiday-parties

Orenstein, B.W. (2015). Maintaining Weight Loss Over the Holidays. Today’s Dietitian

https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/1215p20.shtml

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