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5 Tips To Avoid Overeating and Unwanted Weight Gain During The Holidays

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we thought we would provide some tips for parents and kiddos to stay happy and healthy going into this holiday season.

Engage In Physical Activity

Many families engage in sedentary activities, such as sitting on the couch watching movies or sporting events, during the holiday season. Unfortunately, inactivity can lead to weight gain. This is particularly likely when coupled with overeating.

Simply getting outside to walk your pets or participating in a virtual walk/run like the Northeast YMCA's Turkey Trot are healthy ways to bond with your immediate family while taking your mind off of food.

Snack Smartly

Cookies, cakes, and candies tend to make an appearance during the holiday season and many people love indulging in dessert. With these treats so readily available, you may find yourself unnecessarily snacking by grabbing a piece of candy every time you walk by the bag or having a cookie or piece of cake as an afternoon pick me up.

In your own home, it is relatively easy to avoid this type of unnecessary snacking because you can put treats away and eliminate the temptation. When holiday snacks show up in other situations like class parties for those attending in person school or in the break room at work, it is more difficult because you do not have that same level of control over the situation.

Try to be mindful of how you snack. Eat something nutrient dense, such as fruits, vegetables, or nuts, when you are actually hungry and avoid reaching for food out of boredom or because it's there.

Practice Portion Control

Around the holidays it can be really easy to overload your plate because there tend to be numerous tasty options that you want to sample. However, people who consume larger portions tend to pack on the pounds more easily than people who don't.

The best way to prevent overeating in this way is to practice portion control. In order to determine an appropriate portion size, you should read the label on food packaging and/or consult the recipe for the recommended serving size.

Say No To Seconds

Holiday meals can be served buffet style, which allows you to choose from many different foods and take as much as you want as many times as you want. The unlimited nature of buffets can entice people to go back for seconds and, in some cases, thirds. Having multiple plates of food can drastically increase your caloric intake and help along weight gain. Limit yourself to one plate of food.

Limit Your Stress

For many, the holiday season can be stressful for any number of reasons. This can lead to stress eating (yes, it's a real thing!) to provide comfort, which can in turn lead to unwanted weight gain because junk food is typically eaten in this kind of situation rather than celery or carrots.

You can try exercising, meditation, or deep breathing to reduce stress and restore a sense of peace or calm.

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