It’s the holidays and amazing food is everywhere! Sure, it’s great tasting but much of it is loaded with pound packing ingredients.

I don’t know about you, but even as a health coach, I struggle more to keep on track with healthy eating during the holidays than at any other time of year. The average person gains weight during the holidays. Here are some tips to help minimize or avoid that seasonal weight gain.

First, think through what result you want going into the New Year. Choosing your goal in advance will help you be more mindful and deliberate in your food choices. One of the greatest dangers of holiday gatherings is mindless eating.

Do you want to lose weight during the next couple weeks? In that case, continue to follow your healthy eating plan with as little deviation as possible knowing that you are sacrificing temporary enjoyment for long-term gain. But, maybe your goal is to maintain your current weight without gaining more. Or, it’s possible that you are OK with a small weight gain but would like to limit the damage.

Each of these goals will lead to different eating choices. Being mindful of your goal will help you make choices that you are happy about. Assuming that your goal is one of the last two, here are 3 quick tips to help you.

1.) Pick your pleasure. You don’t have to try everything on the holiday spread. Take a look at all the offerings and chose those things that are healthiest first. Then, choose a selection of those things that will bring you the most enjoyment. (For me, it’s always something chocolate!) Limit yourself to 2 or 3 things so you can feel like you’ve indulged without going overboard.

2.) Follow the 3 bite rule. I love this one! Studies have shown that the greatest amount of satisfaction from food is gained in the first three bites. So, if you want to indulge in something, put a small, 3 bite portion, on your plate. Take the time to savor and truly enjoy each bite. Then, mentally remind yourself, “that was great, I enjoyed it, but, now I’m done”.

3.) Continue to make healthy choices most of the time including before and after each party and on the days when you don’t have holiday events. Practice healthy habits such as drinking enough water, getting adequate rest, engaging in healthy movement and eating healthy for the majority of your meals. Just because you may choose to indulge a little at an event, it doesn’t mean you have to “blow it” the rest of the time. It’s SO easy to think, “I went off plan yesterday, so I may as well indulge today, too”. Not true! Don’t let one indulgence turn into another and another. Get back onto whatever healthy eating plan you follow as soon as possible.

I hope these tips help you to have a happy and healthy holiday season! (And, if you need help with weight loss come January, let’s talk!)

~Blog Submitted by Pamela Richardson