(NEW YORK) — Don’t worry — it’s possible to indulge in delicious Christmastime treats this holiday season without gaining the extra pounds by following some simple tips.
Nutritionist and health writer Jessica Sepel, creator of the JS Health brand, shared some of her favorite tips and tricks for getting through the holidays without maxing out your calorie bank. Read them below:
Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods, but practice ‘moderation’
Sepel said her first tip for those looking to avoid holiday weight gain is not to deprive yourself, but to “enjoy everything in moderation.”
“When we deprive ourselves of food, it often backfires,” she said. “We want to give ourselves permission to try all of the holiday treats … You want to balance with the healthier options, but don’t deprive yourself.”
‘Never arrive at a holiday event hungry’
While some people will “fast all day long” because they know they have a big Christmas dinner coming up, Sepel said this tactic often results in you overindulging or overeating when it comes to dinner time.
“I say eat balanced meals throughout the day and especially have a healthy, protein-rich snack in the afternoon,” Sepel said. “You will find that you can really control your portion sizes and control by doing that.”
Watch what you drink
Sepel also acknowledged that alcohol can be a big contributor to holiday weight gain, and while she says she recommends “absolutely” allowing yourself to drink, try to “go for the sugar-free version of cocktails, in moderation.”
“My personal stopping at one to three drinks at a sitting, and then sipping the alcohol slowly,” she said. “So many of us drink so fast, it’s really nice to slow down and sip alcohol slowly.”
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