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Q: How can I keep from gaining seven pounds during the holidays?

Posted December 11, 2013 in Advice Column, Des Moines West

A: Actually, it is a myth that the average person gains seven pounds during the holidays. In 2000 the New England Journal of Medicine reported the average weight gain was only about a pound. However, those who were already overweight tended to gain the most. So, it makes sense to stay focused on your long-term health goals over the holidays. And when you think about it, there are only a handful of days that actually involve lots of goodies!  But, here are a few strategies:
• Have a healthy snack before going to a holiday party or sitting down to a holiday dinner. That way you won’t be starving and tend to overeat.
• Eat slowly, and concentrate on the conversation. Fellowship is the main reason for these gatherings, anyway, right?
• If you do indulge in something yummy, remember: 95 percent of taste satisfaction comes in the first three bites. So, really savor those yummy-but-not-so-good-for-you treats. You’ll enjoy them more, and eat less.
• Finally, don’t forget to plan time for exercise, even if it’s not the fully allotted time you usually spend working out. You’ll sleep better, feel better and manage your stress better. With all this, here’s hoping you land in the new year feeling good about your health and the choices you have made.

Information from, provided by Dr. Cheryl Child, D.O., Certified Health Coach with Take Shape for Life.

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