The holidays are notoriously difficult for those who are trying to lose weight (or keep it off). With all the holiday gatherings and feasts, it’s easy to fall off the wagon and back into bad eating habits. Fortunately, by following just a few basic tips and tricks as you prepare for those holiday gatherings, you can avoid weight gain and end the year strong.

Pack on the Protein

When choosing foods to pile on your plate, opt for the ones that are high in protein. Some great examples include turkey, chicken, and beans. High-protein foods will help you feel fuller while eating fewer calories, and you’ll stay satisfied for longer. Not to mention, protein is essential for muscle growth!

Eat Before Gatherings

Skipping meals before a holiday party may seem like a good way to “save up” those calories, but it’s actually not healthy to binge-eat your calories in one sitting. You’ll actually tend to eat fewer calories overall if you choose to eat a small meal before your holiday gathering. This way, you won’t show up starving and ready to consume everything in sight.

Bring Your Own Dish

If you’re heading to a gathering where you’re not sure there will be many nutritious and healthy food options, don’t hesitate to bring your own dish! A side of roasted veggies, mashed cauliflower, or even a healthy dessert of fresh fruit are all great options that you can feel good about eating.

Practice Mindful Eating

As you sit around the table to enjoy your meal, focus on mindful eating. Take small bites and chew intently, making mental notes about the way the food tastes, its texture, and even its smell. This will help to slow down your eating and really help you enjoy the experience. Taking the time to focus on those around you and the things you’re grateful for will also help take the focus away from eating.

Hold Off on Seconds

Once you finish your plate, your instinct may tell you to immediately head back for second helpings. However, you should give yourself at least 15 minutes before grabbing seconds; this will give the food you just ate time to settle in your stomach. And most likely, by the time those 15 minutes have passed, you probably won’t even feel hungry anymore.

A little bit of preparation goes a long way in making smart nutritional choices this holiday season. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to finish the year off without packing on any unwanted pounds!

Source: https://greatist.com/health/ways-to-avoid-holiday-weight-gain