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If you are on a diet, or even if you are just generally trying to “eat healthy,” it is difficult to stay on track during the holidays. Even though the holidays don’t last long, you don’t  want a time of year intended to be wholly positive to have negative consequences when you check your weight in 2014.

If you have experienced the sidetracking of weight loss goals during the holidays, you’re not alone. According to studies, the majority of men and women experience holiday weight gain in November and December.

As a general guideline, you may want to focus on maintenance – not adding any pounds – as opposed to trying for weight loss at a time of year when sugary and fatty foods are abundant. The 5 tips below can also help you stay focused on your diet:

  1. Continue working out – Often people reduce the amount they exercise during the holidays. Consider adding 50% to your workouts instead – both the time block per workout and the number of times you exercise each week.
  2. Lots of produce – If you are at an event which is heavily food-focused, keep your attention on the vegetables and fruits. They are both dense with nutrition and contain significant fiber, which makes them more filling.
  3. Keep it away – If you often pass by places where chocolates or other holiday treats are available, whether at work or home, start avoiding those areas. Often seeing something tasty can get your mouth watering. Don’t let that process start.
  4. Set limits – If you can’t stick to your plan completely, let yourself off the hook with one treat item daily. Be aware, though, that extra exercise becomes more important when you’re allowing yourself those exceptions to your diet plan.
  5. Be prepared – If you want to keep your diet and nutrition routine in place, don’t ever miss a meal before a holiday event. If you arrive famished, it will be much more difficult to avoid fried appetizers or desserts. When running late, consider a snack with plenty of protein or fiber, such as yogurt or a salad.

Holiday weight gain happens to many people, but it does not have to happen to you. Above all, keep exercising and be conscientious when you eat. Don’t let a vacation from your diet make for a frustrating January.

If you need additional assistance achieving and maintaining your ideal weight, try Healthy Weighs, our weight-loss program at Weston Medical.

Sources:

(1)  http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/prevention/nutrition/holidayeating12_01.aspx

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