We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and a Healthy New Year

November 2012

Although FSE's Biggest Loser contest is finished, that doesn't mean the healthy habits have to stop. In fact, now is the time to be the most vigilant. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the average weight gain of an adult from Thanksgiving to New Years is about one pound— but those who are overweight are at higher risk to put on more weight. In other words, if you're already overweight, you're more likely to put on five pounds or more in the 5.5 short weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years. What's worse though is that many Americans do not lose the weight after the holidays, which, throughout the years years, slowly increases our waistlines from an extra five pounds in year one, to an extra 50 pounds in year 10.

That being said, here are some easy tips to help keep the extra holiday pounds at bay this season.

1. Don't Arrive Hungry - enjoy small snacks of high-fiber and high-protein foods before holiday events to keep from overindulging at the party.

2. Trick Your Brain With a Smaller Plate - this not only limits your portion sizes, but it confuses your brain into believing you have more than the same amount of food on a bigger plate.

3. Use the Three Bite Rule - studies show that after the third bite of a dish, your taste buds don't register the flavors as sharply, so try eating just three bites of most dishes and save your calories for your absolute favorite foods.

4. Wear Tighter Clothes - wearing fitted clothes will keep your more conscious of your food choices and portion sizes. Elastic might be comfortable, but it also helps you forget how much you're ingesting.

5. Location, Location, Location - don't stand near the food table at parties. When food is out of site, it's out of mind. When you hover near the table, it's easy to nosh throughout the night.

6. Chew Gum - it's natural to want to eat all night, especially in the company of others (in fact, one study shows that people eat 44% more when dinning in a group). Chewing gum will help curb the urge.

7. Exercise - The more calories you burn, the more calories you can eat - simple as that!

8. Eat (Don't Drink) Your Calories - it's easy to add hundreds of extra calories through beverages in addition to the heavy dinners and sugary treats. In 12 ounces, pop averages 150 calories, beer averages 100-200 calories and wine averages 245 calories. Mixed drinks are trickier, depending on the mixer you're using, but typical drinks range from 250 calories to more than 800 calories. Savor the Flavor - it's easy to mindlessly eat and barely enjoy the calories you're consuming. Take a moment to experience each bite and make the most of the calories you eat! This will help you to eat less and feel more satisfied when you're done.