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Tips to Avoid Holiday Overeating and Weight Gain

Holidays can present opportunities for dieters and others to gain weight, overindulge, and practice unhealthy habits that promote or maintain obesity.

Whether it’s Christmas or New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day or Easter, holidays often present opportunities to gain weight. Indulging in those cookies, candies, and other festive foods and beverages can add up and result in unwanted pounds and inches. Additionally, for many, giving into food temptations at these times can lead to overindulgence, weight loss setbacks, and unhealthy habits that promote obesity.

Identifying potential food temptations and planning effective ways to deal with them offer strong defenses against overindulgence and undesired weight gain. Knowing, for example, that you will be attending an upcoming party, recognizing that you will have a difficult time in certain situations, and planning ways to avoid food temptations will help prepare you for success.  

Additionally, planning is most effective when it takes into account the need for flexibility and pleasure. Even the best plans fail when they are restrictive, no fun, and are based on unrealistic expectations. Here are a few simple tips for planning to avoid overindulgence and weight gain over holidays:  

Avoid Unnecessary Stress. 

Plan to enjoy holidays and related events in a relaxed manner. If you go a party, for example, and you are very tired because of lack of sleep or you are hungry because you haven’t eaten, you are just increasing your risks of giving into food temptations and overindulging since the body is stressed and out of balance. 

For another example, if you plan to attend a party where you will be required to interact with a coworker you have had major conflicts with, or if you will be having difficult relatives stay at your home over the holidays, you may experience significant stress if you do not have a plan to deal with these challenges. Without having given previous thought to ways of dealing with the stressful issues, you could find yourself giving in to food temptations and overeating as opportunities present themselves.

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