WASHINGTON — This may be the cruelest season for your waistline, but experts say it is possible to keep all those holiday parties from playing havoc with your weight.
“Don’t go hungry to the party — that is usually a mistake,” says Dr. Domenica Rubino, director of the Washington Center for Weight Management and Research in Arlington, Virginia.
She says a lot of people don’t eat all day before a big party to save calories for the bash. Instead, what happens is they become so ravenous, they eat everything in sight.
Another one of Rubino’s tips is to control alcohol intake, and not just because eggnog and spiked punch can have a lot of calories.
“Once you have a couple of drinks it is really pretty difficult to manage your food because your inhibitions are lowered, foods look more appetizing, and you can kind of justify anything at the point,” she says.
Rubino says make things a bit easier on yourself by offering to bring a dish that tastes good but is lean in fat, sugar and salt. And when you hit that buffet, she says it is OK to take a small portion of a special food that you really want, with one caveat: “You don’t necessarily have to have everything.”
She does note a little extra exercise before or after a party can make up for a bit of indulgence, but don’t make all those extra goodies a habit.
The average person, according to various studies, gains about a pound or two over the holidays. The problem is, most of us tend to hold onto that extra weight in the new year.