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Say no to holiday weight gain


The average American gains weight over the holiday season, how much will vary person to person but over a few years that couple of pounds here and a couple of pounds there adds up. This year plan to maintain, not gain.

Many of us are gearing up for a New Year's resolution to lose weight, it's the most common resolution. But what if this year you could maintain where you are at and kick off your weight loss resolution at a better starting point? You will be ahead of the game.

You can maintain your weight this holiday season, you just have to implement a few healthier habits. Little changes can make a big impact.

Change your plate

Grab a smaller plate at holiday parties. Or even each night for dinner. A smaller plate will play the psychological trick on you that you are getting more food. Most of us eat with our eyes and by switching size of the plate we get more satisfaction seeing our meal. The Small Plate study found that switching from a 12-inch diameter plate to a 10-inch diameter plate decreases the amount of food people eat without having an effect on their perceived fullness or satisfaction.

Sample it

If you have favorite holiday treats and meals allow yourself to sample those items rather than indulge. This will help you feel satisfied and not deprived. A small taste of your favorite treat will usually tame the craving. Once we make the decision to have the small taste, the craving will dissipate. If you are still craving more of the item, drink a glass of water and re-asses. More often than not the feeling will be gone.

Start with Breakfast

Breakfast gets your metabolism going and sets the tone for your day. If you are skipping breakfast, stop. It's the most important meal of the day for a reason. When breakfast is skipped we tend to get hungrier than we would have later in the day and tend to eat foods higher in fat and sugar. The simple change of eating breakfast everyday will help you indulge less throughout the day.

Meal Prep

We all know meal prepping would allow us to eat healthier. We just don't do it. Rather than setting yourself up for failure and wanting to meal prep all of your meals, just start with fruits and veggies. After your grocery shopping trip set aside 15-30 minutes to peel, chop and separate your fruits and veggies into easy to grab and go snacks. When it's there and ready to eat we are much more likely to make healthy choices rather than snack on easy to reach junk food.

There is no need to make radical changes that only set you up to fail. By implementing a few small habits, overtime, you will naturally make healthier choices and you will be able to maintain your weight no matter what season it is and holiday weight gain will be a fear of the past.

Emily Countryman is a board certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness located at 2639 172nd St. NE Suite 104 in Smokey Point/Marysville She can be reached online at


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