It’s the Turkey You Should Stuff on Thanksgiving…!

— Written By Barbara Linder and last updated by Carmen Boswell

As we approach the holiday season, and winter approaches, people begin to find comfort in comfort foods and rationalize that they can hide their figure flaws under bulky sweaters, and start to work on their “diet” again after the beginning of the new year.

We often find ourselves making excuses to overindulge because it’s “that time of year.” Between Thanksgiving, winter holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah, and various parties in between, the average American gains up to five pounds during the holiday season.

Follow these simple tips for maintaining weight and avoid gain this holiday season:

1 – Focus on Family – The holiday season is about family and fellowship, but often we focus on food instead. Take the time to talk to family members and socialize. The more time spent talking, the less you will eat!

2 – Avoid portion distortion – Use smaller plates to trick your eye in to thinking your plate has more food on it than it actually does.

3 – Eat special dishes – There are often dishes that we savor during the holidays because that is the only time of the year that these dishes are served. If that is the case in your household, focus on those dishes rather than wasting calories on dishes that you would generally eat throughout the year.

4 – Get outside! Rather than standing around the buffet table or lingering in the kitchen by the food, get outside! Engage youth and family members in games or go for a brisk walk.

5 – Stop eating! Pay attention to the signals that your body gives you. Many of us grew up in house holds where you were expected to clean your plate before being allowed to leave the table. Don’t feel obligated to continue to eat if your stomach is full. The moment you start to feel the feeling of satisfaction, not completely full or bloated, stop eating!

7 – Eat slowly – Put your fork down between bites and engage in conversation with your loved ones in order to avoid eating too quickly. Taking sips of water between bites will also decrease the speed in which you eat and help save on calorie intake.

7 – Drink water – Avoid cocktails and sugar laden punches. Instead drink water or sparkling water with sliced free for a festive yet refreshing alternative free of calories and sugar!

8 – Don’t skip meals –Always start your day with a healthy breakfast containing whole grains that are full of fiber. This will keep you feeling fuller longer and prevent you from overeating when it is time to sit down for your holiday meal.

Enjoy the holiday season and let it be a time of love and togetherness.