Holiday Weight Gain Doesn't Have To Be An Issue

Reporter: Shannon Samson

New Media Producer: Kerry Corum

Eat, drink and be merry this holiday season, but the secret is - just don't overdo it.

Researchers believe half of all the weight adults gain during the course of the year comes between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some people don't stop indulging at Christmas. They overeat and under-exercise all the way up to Superbowl Sunday.

Now, no one is telling you to skip your favorite holiday foods, but there are some ways to enjoy them without the guilt. Temptation is everywhere, dressed up for the holidays, or looking like it does every day. Many of us try to resist these high fat foods throughout the year, but it's hard to say no at Christmas. Truth is, you don't have to.

Registered dietitian Ann Freyberger explains, "You can choose the higher calories, higher fat choices that you get once a year, but do it sensibly, smaller portions and if you're going to a buffet-type style, get one plate and fill your plate with whatever you want, but don't mound it and it's just that one plate and it's not going back for more."

Eat before you go to a party so you're not simply ravenous when you get there. If you're asked to bring a dish, substitute lower fat ingredients into a recipe. Don't mingle around the snacks, that usually causes mindless eating. And watch what you drink too.

"Alcohol calories add up pretty quickly, so you might want to limit yourself to only two drinks and cut it back after that," adds registered dietitian Janelle Weatherholt.

A glass of eggnog is 300 calories. Add the liquor and you're up to 400 calories, without ever putting any actual food in your mouth.

Freyberger tells us, for those people who can't resist a good holiday binge, lots of exercise may be the only way to balance out lots of eating this holiday season."Just remember exercise. If you're going to over-indulge, then over-indulge with activity. You've got to burn-off what you just ate."

If you eat too much one weekend, and the scale is up more than one or two pounds come Monday morning, don't panic. Freyberger says you probably just ate too much salt and you're retaining water. You should be back to normal within a few days. If not, she says get to the gym immediately.