One more year is coming to a close and the holidays are approaching. Everyone worries about avoiding weight gain with all the delicious seasonal foods around, not to mention comfort foods available during fall and winter.

How can you avoid holiday weight gain during the holidays, during all of the fall and winter months? Here are a few tips:

1) Avoid skipping meals

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Many people think that they “save space in their stomach” by not eating breakfast and lunch on Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Eve, since there will be a robust amount of food to eat at dinner on those days.

However, the body tends to store more fat the more you skip meals.

The other “funny fact” is that your stomach size won’t change from breakfast to dinner just because you decided to “save space” for more dinner.

Therefore, it is better for you to eat breakfast and lunch (even if they are small meals) and even one or two small snacks during the day, as you feel hungry.

For example: you can have a fruit or/and a yogurt in the morning, or a salad with some protein for lunch. Following these tips will help you prevent overeating at dinner.

2) Have the seasonal foods you enjoy, in small portions

As I mentioned earlier, there are the seasonal comfort foods everyone loves. Make sure to enjoy them in their season, but in small portions.

For example, if you make a seasonal dish one day, you still can enjoy an extra portion the next day, instead of eating all the food you prepared during only one meal.

The same rule applies if you buy your meal at a restaurant: ask for a box or ask the waiter to put the leftover meal in a container for you to bring home and enjoy the next day.

This way you avoid eating all calories during one meal and you will also be saving money!

3) Exercise

holiday weight gain_2 Exercise has many benefits other than helping you spend calories. It prevents diseases, and it gives you more stamina and physical flexibility.

It will be of help in the prevention of weight gain during winter and holidays!

4) Make sure to drink enough water throughout the day (not only the holidays but every day of the year)

When you drink water throughout the day, especially between meals (even when not thirsty), you realize you eat less. Sometimes, you may think you are hungry and want a snack or a meal, but your body is actually trying to tell you that it is dehydrated.

Many times, when you crave a snack (feeling hungry or not), the craving will go away after you drink a 8 oz glass of water (or two, if you can do it).

Water is essential for your body to use nutrients you eat during meals as well.

By the time you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Therefore, be proactive and drink water throughout the day even when you are not thirsty.

5) Eat fruits and vegetables

That’s right. When you eat a serving of cooked or raw vegetables (even if a small serving), there will be less room for that dessert (and desserts are usually more caloric then vegetables).

That way, you’ll probably eat a serving of vegetables and only one portion of dessert.

Most of all, enjoy the parties and festivities!

Fiquem bem e até a próxima (stay well, and until next time).

Would you like to find out more? Connect with Expert Girlene Coughlin

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