Avoiding weight gain

COMFORT FOODS Enjoying favorite foods in limited portion sizes is a key step in maintaining fitness goals.

No matter how much willpower you possess, it’s easy to overindulge during the holiday season. But don’t let all of the hard work you’ve put into being the healthiest you can be in 2016 go to ruin with turkey and stuffing. The reality is you can have your cake—scratch that, pumpkin pie—and eat it, too.
This is the first of a two-part series on how to avoid putting on extra pounds during the holiday season. Follow these tips to avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain.
1. Start your day off right. No, not with a bowl of Frosted Flakes but with exercise. Not only is this a great way to lose weight, but exercise can set the tone for healthy habits the rest of the day, according to a study in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
From the moment you wake up, sip some coffee or tea and start engaging in the exercise of your choice. The important thing is to get your heart rate up. Remember, the baby steps you take now will lead to achieving your goals in the future.
2. Eating in moderation. We all have cravings for comfort food—the key is to limit the portion sizes of each item. If you love mac and cheese, by all means put some on your plate. You don’t have to deprive yourself of comfort foods, but do limit the quantity you take in.
3. Work on your willpower. Developing mental toughness is like anything else in life: You have to work at it. So during the holiday season if you’re skipping from one social event to another, it’s going to be tempting to try dessert at every place, especially when it’s right in front of you. This is where you decide beforehand that you’ll have to say no on occasion.
Put it in your mind and stick with it, and you’ll develop a great habit for a lifetime. In a Time.com health article, Michael Dansinger, MD, an assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, said: “Whether you’re driving in rush hour traffic or dealing with a temperamental kid, there are challenges that require self-control.”
In other words, make a decision and then stick to your decision regarding food choices.