The average person gains between 5-8 pounds in the 5 weeks between Thanksgiving & New Years Eve.
That would not be so scary except for the fact that most of us NEVER LOSE THE WEIGHT WE GAIN.

That information is sure likely to bring on a case of the holiday blues!  Well, the staff here at OCSC is here to help cure your blues and arm you with tips to help you combat the extra pounds!  Below are our 12 tips to avoid holiday weight gain.  Review them and come up with a plan of attack that works for you!

1 – Write it all down
Every morsel.  Even when you are cooking and sneak a taste, write it down.  It will make you aware of how much food you are actually taking into your body.  Plus if you have to write it down, you might stop and think a minute before you put it in your mouth.  ***Bonus points if you write down your weight twice a week too!

2 – Limit tasting while cooking
If you are the chef, resist the urge to constantly taste test as you cook.  It is amazing how many extra calories you can consume while prepping the meal!  ***Bonus points – pop a piece of sugarless gum in your mouth while you are cooking.  It will keep you from snacking, reduce your cravings and may even burn a few calories!

3 – Have a pre-celebration snack
Some people go with the strategy of skipping a meal so you can over indulge later.  The problem with that is, by the time ‘later’ arrives (the party or special meal), you are often so hungry you over eat.  Instead, eat sensible meals on party day and before leaving for the party have a quick snack.  Nothing elaborate, a cheese stick or hand full of nuts.  That way you’ll be able to make sensible choices when it comes to party food.

4 – Buy what you bring
If you have been charged with bringing a dish to a special event, buy it on the way.  The logic behind this is simple; when we cook, we sample.  We take little tastes during the process and if we end up slicing and the slice isn’t just right, we might be tempted to eat the evidence.  If you purchase your contribution to the party instead, it is pre-packaged and sealed!  ***Bonus points if what you choose to bring is a healthy option that you know is good for you and you know you will eat as the party is underway!

5 – Watch the Alcohol
You may not even think about it but the calories in your party beverages can add up rather quickly.  Instead of choosing the spiked eggnog or holiday punch, why not choose a wine spritzer?  Adding club soda to your wine will cut the calories in half.  ***Bonus points – drink a glass of water in between each cocktail.  The less intoxicated you are the better chance you have to make healthy eating choices!

6 – Indulge in the things you really want
If your plan is to completely avoid the high calorie foods that seem to go along with the holiday season, it could back fire.  Avoidance usually leads to binge eating.  Instead go ahead and indulge in the foods you find REALLY tempting.

7 – Portion Control
You can eat and enjoy all the wonderful flavors the season has to offer without over indulging.  One tip, if there are dinner plates and dessert plates set out for you to fill, choose the smaller option. Make sure you only add one layer of food or you will defeat the purpose!

8 – Chew
The more you chew, the better.  Studies have shown that when you chew your food more thoroughly you eat less, you digest better and your appetite regulation hormones jump in the game and tell you when to stop eating.  So chew! ***Bonus points – put your fork down in between bites. 

9 – Focus is everything
Instead of putting your focus on the food table and all of its temptations, place your focus elsewhere.  Have an amazing conversation.  Hit the dance floor.  Do anything other than stand by the food and nibble mindlessly.

10 – Sit responsibly
This along with #9, sit AWAY from the food table.  If the chip bowl is close to you, chances are, you’ll nibble away.  If you sit in front of your Aunt Mary’s delicious stuffing, you’ll help yourself to another spoonful.  If at all possible, position yourself away from your top temptations!

11 – Wait
After you have eaten the meal or had round 1 of party snacks, wait 20 minutes before taking another bite.  This will give your stomach enough time to play catch up so you can see if you really want that extra slice of pie!   ***Bonus points – rehearsing the response “No Thanks, I’m taking a break right now!” so you are ready when someone tries to offer you seconds!

12 – Create a new family tradition
After having your fill of turkey with all the trimmings, why not start a new family tradition and go for a walk.  Instead of sitting on the couch and watching the football game, go outside and have a game of catch!  You’ll burn off some calories while making some awesome memories!