by Melissa Koengeter, special to Wausau Pilot & Review

For some people, the only time they gain weight is between Halloween and New Year’s. For others the holiday season presents another challenge to avoid weight gain.

Koengeter, Melissa (for web use)
Melissa Koengeter, APNP is a Family Nurse Practitioner with Ascension Medical Group at Merrill.

With work parties and family gatherings filling your schedule this holiday season, there are some things you can to do to stop adding on the extra pounds.

This is the time of year where most of us are guilty of indulging on our favorite “forbidden” foods. We all have them, but the key is to not indulge too much.

Here are some tips to try at your next holiday party to help prevent those extra pounds from adding on:

  • Arrive at the Party with “Something” in Your Stomach. I’m sure most of us have tried to go all day without eating, with the intent to save up our calories for an evening party.  Instead, have a small snack before you leave for the party.  By waiting all day to eat, you are only setting yourself up for over-eating later in the day.
  • Keep a Distance Between You and the Snack Table. You may not realize it, but the closer you stand to a bowl of potato chips, the more likely you are to snack on them.  Instead, try a small handful of potato chips with a spoonful of dip, and then walk away from the table.  Find someone who is not standing directly next to the snack table to talk with.
  • Check Out the Buffet Before You Get in Line. This is a scenario I am sure most of us are familiar with.  We get in line for the buffet, and we can’t make up our mind on what to eat, so we try “a little bit of everything.”  Before we know it, our plate is heaping full and we are trying to carefully maneuver back to our table without losing a meatball.  Instead, look over the buffet table before you get in line.  Find out what you really want to eat and choose those items.  This way, you can hold off on adding extra items to your plate as you go through the line.
  • Bring a Healthy Snack to Your Next Holiday Party. Here is your chance to set the standard for next year’s holiday party!  Simple dishes like a Vegetable Platter with Hummus, or Dried Fruit Trail Mix can be the highlight of any party.  Search through your recipe books or go online to find some easy, tasty, and healthy snacks for you to share with your family and friends.

If you have been following a specific weight loss plan and indulge on some “forbidden” foods during the holiday season, don’t chastise yourself and give up totally. It’s also important to not take a “holiday” from your exercise program.

Setting a goal for food consumption is always a good idea. Being able to accomplish your goal will make you feel good about yourself and more likely to continue with your good habits.

Melissa Koengeter, APNP is a Family Nurse Practitioner with Ascension Medical Group at Merrill. For more information, please call 715.804.7500 or visit ascension.org/wisconsin.