How to Minimize Holiday Weight Gain: 3 Hacks to Help Reduce Your Intake of Holiday Sweets by Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., CSSD, CSOWM, FAND
In a recent survey conducted by my company ("Writing Off the End of the Year," November 2019), respondents reported that they gain an average of 6 pounds during the holiday season. And sweets may be primarily to blame – more than half of the respondents reported cookies (54 percent) and pies or cakes (53 percent) to be their biggest food temptation.
While it may not be realistic to avoid sweets all together, one trick for minimizing holiday weight gain is to make sure that you eat balanced meals and snacks throughout the day and include a source of protein each time. This will help you feel fuller so you’ll eat less, which may help prevent over-indulging on those tempting treats. Here are three tips to help you stay on track over the holidays:
- Start the Day With a High-Protein Breakfast: Aim for 15 to 20 grams of protein in your breakfast. Studies have shown this not only helps you stay full until lunch but may even curb your intake and unhealthy snacking over the course of the day.
- Snack Before the Party: Have a substantial, protein-rich snack prior to your event – such as some Greek yogurt with fruit or some hummus and vegetables – before you walk out the door. This can help you control portions at your meal, and dessert, too.
- Make Dessert Count: Save a few calories so you can enjoy a small serving of a special dessert that you associate with the holidays, but skip the "everyday" sweets. And try being satisfied with just a couple of bites. Studies show that the first few bites really are the best, and that pleasure diminishes with each extra bite.
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