An Annual Tradition

Still stuffed from Thanksgiving? Join the club. The average American gains 1 pound during the holidays, says the National Institutes of Health. While a single pound doesn’t seem too drastic, the cumulative effect of annual overeating can contribute to obesity.

Obviously, it’s best to avoid overindulgence but it’s also important to enjoy the festivities. So for a taste of both worlds — great food and a stable waistline — follow these rules to avoiding a holiday heaviness hangover:

  • Exercise: Don’t let your workout routine slide during the holidays. A fine tuned metabolism will lessen the impact of fluctuation in what you eat.
  • Stay even: Instead of trying to lose weight, aim to maintain your current weight through the year.
  • Party carefully: Those plates of chips and dips and calorie–infused alcoholic beverages add up fast. Practice moderation.
  • Change your focus: Enjoy the company around you at cocktail parties and family gatherings. Play games. Be merry. The gathering doesn’t have to revolve around eating.
  • Prepare reduced–fat dishes: There are many healthy holiday recipes to choose from. You and your guests probably won’t even notice the difference in taste.

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