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Celebrate the Holiday Season Without Gaining Weight

According to a recent study published in the New England of Medicine, half of the weight gained during the holidays appears to remain until the summer months or beyond. Therefore, the less one gains, the less one then has to worry about trying to lose it. Are you wondering if there was a way to celebrate the holiday season without gaining weight? In this article we share 5 effective tips from Dr. Saurabh (Seth) Sethi, who specializes in Gastroenterology. These tips will help you not only avoid holiday weight gain but also enjoy the holiday season to the fullest.

Weigh yourself regularly

Make sure to step on the scale once or twice a week, in the morning when your stomach is completely empty. Studies have found that people who weigh themselves on a regular basis are able to maintain or lose weight better than those who do not weigh themselves (2). 

Eat something before going to a party

Make sure you eat something right before going for a holiday party. Try to consume some fresh fruit or salad. This will control your hunger and prevent you from stuffing yourself excessively. 

Focus on Protein and Fiber

While at the holiday party, focus on consuming protein and fiber. Both of these nutrients induce fullness. Studies show that increased dietary fiber and protein can reduce total calorie intake (3, 4), which may be a method to prevent weight gain over the holidays. Fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Protein-rich foods include meat, poultry, fish, beans and quinoa.  

Limit liquid calories

Holiday parties have an unlimited amount of sweetened beverages. The latter can contribute a significant amount of sugar and empty calories to your diet, which can cause weight gain. 

Use a smaller plate

Consider grabbing a smaller plate while walking up to the buffet table. This can help you control portion sizes and therefore, weight gain. Studies have found that people tend to consume larger portions off of large plates (5). 

You can easily avoid gaining weight this holiday season by following the tips above. For more information and tips on diet/nutrition/fitness, check out Dr. Sethi’s blog References:

  1. Helander EE et al. Weight Gain over the Holidays in Three Countries. N Engl J Med. 2016 Sep 22;375(12):1200-2.
  2. Zheng Y et al. Self-weighing in weight management: a systematic literature review. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Feb;23(2):256-65.
  3. Slavin JL. Dietary fiber and body weight. Nutrition. March 2005 Volume 21, Issue 3, Pages 411–418
  4. Pesta DH et al. A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2014; 11: 53.
  5. Rolls BJ et al. Portion size of food affects energy intake in normal-weight and overweight men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Dec;76(6):1207-13.

Reviewed by:  Dr. Saurabh Sethi Fremont, CA, USA

Diet and Nutrition

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