Author of The 17 Day Diet
It's that time of year when the zipper on your dress and the springs in your bathroom scale start getting really nervous. Here's how you can avoid weight gain during these holidays, with help from my tried and true 17 Day Diet tips.
Continue the good habit of eating breakfast during the holidays to help control cravings later on. (Sorry, eggnog isn't considered a good egg substitute.)
Have healthy snacks on hand, such as raw veggies or fresh fruit. Go for them before you treat yourself to the splurge stuff.
Give yourself permission to enjoy a little of everything that is usually only available during the holidays, but to do it in moderation (no second helpings on pumpkin pie or cheesecake). Pumpkin pie, by the way, is your best dessert bet. It's lower in calories and higher in nutrients than pecan pie, apple pie, and most other desserts.
Fill up on high-fiber foods like vegetables, fresh fruits, and legumes. Fiber keeps you full so you're less likely to overindulge. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of pure water, too. Water will keep you full as well as hydrated.
Make healthy substitutions. Examples: Serve reduced-sugar cranberry sauce and save around 150 calories; or prepare potato pancakes (latkes) with vegetable cooking spray rather than oil, and substitute egg whites for the eggs.
Choose white meat turkey over dark meat and save on fat and calories.
Substitute brown rice instead of bread for stuffing, and bake it separately in a covered casserole. When cooked inside the turkey, the stuffing absorbs gobs of unhealthy fat from the turkey.
Stick to your regular exercise routine. It's one of the best ways to fight fat gain during the busy, stressful holiday season.
Set reasonable goals over the holidays. If you want to shed fat, the holidays may not be the best time to do it. There are just too many tempting goodies around. In fact, a better, more reasonable goal would be to maintain your weight and not gain any extra.
Understand the reason for the season. Holidays are a chance to enjoy and celebrate with people you care about. Put your focus more on socializing, and less on eating. Good luck, and Happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah!