How to Survive Christmas and Not Gain this Season

We all have heard the stories, and many have experienced the ’dreaded Christmas 6-10 pounds weight gain’. Is it possible not to gain over Christmas? Will you be kicking yourself for the 1-10 pounds you will have to lose this January because of a gain in

December? Is it going to happen this season?Hopefully not, but why has it happened in the past? Let’s see..

The staff parties, egg nog, boxes of chocolates given to us, the chocolates at work, the shortbread, butter tarts, pecan or pumpkin pie, the sausage and cheese plates, the nuts on everyone’s desk, the huge dinners, or the layer dips. The list can go on and on. Goodies

are plentiful. We also have a lot more food in our homes and bake more. What other time of year do we make 3 dozen butter tarts and 4 dozen shortbread cookies all at once?

We all want to enjoy the season so here are a few tips to keep those extra pounds from creeping on.

If you are going to bake, bake the treats that are NOT your favorites so you are not as tempted. If butter tarts are a weakness (as they are with me), make them and put them into the freezer. I know they are good frozen, but also put a note in the box that asks yourself, do I need one of these now? When you DO eat something, ENJOY IT!. Savour the taste, let it melt in your mouth. We all can eat 3 cookies and want more, but try small bites, eat slow… really taste it. You will be satisfied with less.

At work if there are a lot of goodies, eat them every other day, or bring another snack to eat instead. Another way is to actually think of the amount of calories in these treats. One cup of mixed nuts is 876 calories and 80 grams of fat! One cup adds up fast! A shortbread cookie – approx. 100 calories. A thumb size piece of cheese – 100-120 calories. Each

piece of salami or pepperoni is about 60 calories, and ham is about 30 a slice! A bite size sausage roll is 70 calories. A few bites add up to a large number of calories and you are still hungry! Choose wisely and a great tip – if the bite does not taste GREAT, don’t eat it. Make your calories count. DON’T eat a cookie, a cracker, a piece of cheese, or desert unless it tastes wonderful. You will be surprised how many calories you save.

Other hints: Keep your house as healthy as possible – there will be enough food that temps you outside your home. Ask people not to give you chocolates this year; and if they do, give them to the food bank. Even though you are busy, try to exercise. It will help keep you focused on taking care of yourself. Make everyday dinner choices lighter, such as a salad with chicken, or a big bowl of fruit and yogurt. Stay in a room away from the snacks at parties, and if that shortbread is calling your name, ask yourself if eating it is worth all the negative thoughts and sadness you will have in January if you gain 7lbs. It probably is not. Remember that eating a few things will not cause a big gain – it is overindulgence that will.

This leads me to my last point. If you overeat and gain some weight, PLEASE do not keep eating and saying to yourself you are starting January 1st so you might as well eat everything in sight before that date. Eat in moderation and start a plan in January that

includes all foods. It is a key to successful weight loss.

So, to everyone, enjoy the holidays with your family and friends and remember that they, not food, is what is to be savoured this holiday season.

Tara is owner of "The Shape You’re In" and has lost over 100 pounds and has kept it off. Email