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Posted on 21. November 2019

Holiday Calories Do Count

By Abbie Cornett

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During my entire adult life, my weight has not changed much give or take a few pounds, so gaining a couple of pounds during the holidays was never an issue. I knew I would lose the weight with no real effort on my part. Unfortunately, that all changed when I turned 50! Now, if I smell a cookie, I gain weight. What's worse is that weight doesn't come off easily.

One day of overindulgence means two weeks of spin classes at the gym. So, you can imagine how unexcited I am about the holiday season when studies show the average person gains between 5 and 10 pounds. That is more additional weight than I am willing to try to spin off this year.

Unfortunately for me and my scale, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I love the way the house smells Thanksgiving Day, I love setting the table and, most of all, I love sitting down with my family and friends to eat.

This year, though, I have been dreading the arrival of the holiday season. Instead of thinking about what I am going to eat, I have been thinking about what I am not going to eat and how many hours I will have to spend at the gym!

The first thing I had to accept was I had to give up the silly idea I was going to lose weight during the holidays and, instead, find a way to maintain where I was my current weight. So, I started to research how I could still enjoy the holiday season and not gain weight.

While it may seem impossible, it's not if you follow some simple steps:

  • Move more! Instead of sitting on the couch and watching TV in a turkey-induced stupor, get up and go for a walk. If it's cold outside, head to the mall and get a few laps in while shopping.
  • Watch what you drink! People tend to forget what they drink has calories, sometime more than what they eat. So, skip the sugary drinks and alcohol, and grab a glass of water instead.
  • Don't starve yourself before the big family diner or going to a party. If you get too hungry, you will overeat. Eat a light snack high in fiber and protein. This will keep you from stuffing yourself.
  • Keep your portion sizes normal. There is no need to heap your plate full of food. You can always go back for seconds!
  • Eat slowly. Give your stomach time to tell your brain you're full. The reason: It takes 20 minutes for your brain to recognize the stomach is full. If you take your time at a meal, you're less likely to keep eating beyond the point when you're actually full.

More importantly than deciding what and how much I am going eat this year, I am focusing on the time I get to spend with my family and friends. Remember, food is the least important part of the holiday!

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