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Enjoy the holidays without tipping the scale

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Posted at 12:40 PM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 12:40:17-05

The holidays are time for memories, a time to catch up with family and enjoy each other's company...and a time to gain weight.

It's no secret that while most are excited to dive into platefuls of food, they aren't all too excited about what the scale has to say after the handful of holiday meals they eat from Thanksgiving to New Years.

According to new research from Cornell University, Americans gain an average of 1.3 pounds from the beginning of October to four days into the New Year. To make matters worse, the extra weight usually hangs around for at least five months, if not longer.

"It's about maintaining and not gaining throughout the holiday season," said Kelly Hahl, Manger, Health and Wellness Programs, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. "By finding ways to incorporate activity and lower calories dishes into celebrations, families can build healthy traditions together."

Here are some tips from Hahl to follow in order to stay healthy throughout the holiday season:

  • Plan time for exercise. Make time for activity during your celebration - a 30 minute football game while the family is over can burn upwards of 250 calories.
  • Eat before your celebration. Eating a light, healthy snack will make you less tempted to over-indulge.
  • Bring a healthy dish to the gathering. Bringing a lower calorie option of your favorite dish will help promote healthy holiday eating.
  • Take the focus off food. Move away from the food so you won't be tempted to snack while you catch up with friends and family.
  • Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Use smaller plates to help you keep your portions small.