The year is almost out, and the festive season is upon us; gatherings and celebrations all around. This is the season to battle the bulge. How do you make sure you don’t over indulge while enjoying the festivities? Here are 15 tips that you can follow:

  1. Be active with family and friends
    Even something as simple as a family walk can get your mind off food and allow you to bond with your loved ones.
  2. Snack wisely
    When treats are easy to access, you’re more likely to snack unnecessarily. At home, this problem can be solved by keeping treats out of sight.
  3. Watch your portion sizes
    The best way to not overload your plate is to control portion sizes or use smaller plates.
  4. Practice mindful eating
    Studies show that those who eat while distracted are more likely to overeat. This is because they’re unable to pay attention to their body’s fullness signals. To prevent this, eat mindfully and minimize distractions — including work and electronics.
  5. Get plenty of sleep
    Sleep deprivation, which is quite common during the holidays, may cause weight gain. It may increase your hunger hormone levels, ultimately leading to higher calorie intake.
  6. Control your stress levels
    A stressful lifestyle may cause more cravings for junk food, and chronically high cortisol levels may cause weight gain, as they have been linked to greater food intake.
  7. Keep meals balanced with protein
    Protein promotes fullness and may be useful for weight maintenance, it also increases your metabolism and levels of appetite-reducing hormones
  8. Focus on dietary fibre
    Some studies show that increased dietary fibre can reduce total calorie intake, which may help prevent weight gain over the holidays
  9. Cut back on taste-testing
    Small bites of holiday dishes can add up in calories, tasting your dishes can be important, especially if you’re cooking for others — but a tiny bite is probably more than enough.
  10. Bring a healthy dish to share
    If you are attending a pot-luck, bring a healthy dish to the party to balance out the calorie-laden festive dishes.
  11. Limit your dessert intake
    Dessert is everywhere during the holiday season. This often leads to excessive sugar consumption, a common cause of weight gain.
  12. Limit liquid calories
    Alcohol and soft drinks can contribute a significant amount of sugar and empty calories to your diet, which can cause weight gain.
  13. Use the buddy system
    Try to find a health buddy who has similar weight goals, as this person can keep you motivated and accountable over the holidays.
  14. Avoid processed foods
    Processed food contain excess sugar and unhealthy fats that take a toll on your weight; opt for whole foods and cook your meals from scratch.
  15. Skip multiple servings
    Holiday meals are sometimes served buffet-style, with several options to choose from in unlimited amounts. This leads people to serve themselves seconds — and maybe even thirds. As the calories from multiple helpings can quickly contribute to weight gain, limit yourself to just one plate.
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