measuring tapeEggnog, little gingerbread men cookies (or any and all of Melynn’s cookies we’ve featured here on the blog), homemade candies—these are just a few of the tempting treats that contribute to the expansion of many American’s waistlines during the holiday season. But, there is hope! Here are three things we can all do to avoid packing on the pounds this year:

1. Pace yourself
Seeing all of those holiday munchies laid out when you first arrive at a holiday party can be a little overwhelming. You may want to indulge but you know you shouldn’t. Susan Finn (PhD, RD), Chairwoman for the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition, says you don’t have to avoid sneaking a treat. The trick is pacing yourself. In a recent WebMD article, she suggests putting your fork down between every bite. This helps give you control.

2. Don’t skip meals
In an article that appeared on Registered Dietitian Debbie Bermudez says it may seem like a smart idea to skip lunch so you can save calories for that after work holiday party. In actuality this is a terrible idea. She says, “When you show up to a party ravenous, you’re more likely to make unhealthy choices and wolf down your food.”

3. The buddy system
To avoid gaining weight you need commitment and awareness, says Susan J. Bartlett, PhD, associate director of clinical psychology at John Hopkins Weight Management Center in Baltimore and specialist in weight and eating disorders. In aGood article she says if you want to lose weight or keep off the pounds, “It’s best to do with a group of people – even one or two friends or a close buddy – whom you can call upon to talk about eating concerns.”

Do you have a tip to share for maintaining a healthy weight over the holidays? Please share in the comments below.

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