Avoid Holiday Weight Gain!

Did you know that the average person gains one to seven pounds during the holiday season? But the festive season doesn't have to sabotage your wedding weight-loss plan.

Some nutrition tips to keep in mind at holiday parties:

The lower the alcohol content, the fewer the calories! AR Quickie Guide: Younger, lighter wines, such as Rieslings, Rosés, and Vino Verdes, are often lower in alcohol content, and so are champagne and sparkling wines. Reds tend to be higher in alcohol, with exceptions, of course (most often the lighter reds are lower in calories, such as Pinot Noirs). Personally, I love a glass of champagne or proseco, which is surprisingly your lowest calorie (and most fun) bubbly choice.

Don't be afraid to drink. I believe everything in moderation; turning down social events or a nice cocktail simply to control your waistline is not the answer. Think about the skinny French women! It’s not the moderate cocktail or glass of vino that is killing your figure. I’m all about living your best life, which means enjoying the pleasures but finding the balance. My favorite trick: Add some sparkling water to your champagne or wine. This will extend the life of your drink while also keeping you hydrated!

Don’t skip meals. Many people forgo eating before parties because they figure it will balance out their overindulgence later in the day. This tactic sets you up not only to make poor food choices because you’re so hungry, but also to overeat later on. If you arrive to a celebration with a stomach filled with good foods, you’ll be less likely to overindulge or make poor food selections.

At a family-style dinner or buffet, try to be the last person to get your food. Take less once you are there — you can always go up for seconds. By being the last one to sit down with your food, you will feel like you have more food than everyone else, who may then be halfway done with their meals.

► To avoid snacking and munching temptation, simply pop a piece of sugarless gum into your mouth. This works well when you're cooking or when you're trying not to dive into the buffet.

Avoid dairy products. They are had to digest, and your body doesn't recognize that you are as full. And more complex foods like whole grains can keep you full longer than more processed ones.

Fill up on vegetables and protein first. Often, at parties or events, by the time our brains get the message that our stomachs are full, we’re feeling beyond stuffed. That’s because we tend to eat faster or eat and drink more calories than usual. Protein has the unique ability to fire this message to our brains quickly, which makes you feel full faster, thus less likely to eat more. Combine that with the high fiber and low calorie content of vegetables, and you’ll be much less likely to wind up as stuffed as the turkey!

amanda russellAmanda Russell is a top-rated fitness and lifestyle writer, professional keynote speaker, Olympic-trained athlete, model, spokeswoman, founder of FitStrongandSexy.com and one of the industry's leading experts in fitness, wellness and change. Amanda has her own professional online workout channel and talk-show and was named as one of Google’s ‘Next Top Fitness Trainer’s in 2012’.

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