The holidays are a time of merriment and fun. It seems like there is almost no end to holiday goodies and treats out there. This can lead to unwanted weight gain. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall wellbeing. Here are some tips to keep the pounds off this holiday season.

• Stay active: Oftentimes, holiday traditions involve sedentary activities. Try to incorporate new actives like a family walk or games that involve movement like charades.

• Don’t skip protein: Many holiday favorites are rich in carbs but lack protein. Try to get protein in with every meal. It will leave you feeling fuller and less likely to overindulge.

• Control portion sizes: This is what often gets people, eating too large portions. A neat trick is to use smaller plates. They allow less food to be put on them and clearing off a whole smaller plate can help us feel fuller.

• Serve meals restaurant style: Keep the food in the kitchen and only bring what can fit on a plate to the dinner table. Not having the food directly in front of you can reduce the urge to eat more of it.

• Wait before taking seconds: Wait a few minutes after clearing a plate before deciding to go back for more. It often takes a few minutes or so for the body to start registering the food that’s already been eaten. Try chatting with friends or go for a walk before getting that second helping.

The holidays do not have to lead to weight gain. Taking some simple steps and eating everything in moderation can help keep excess weight off.

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