Halloween is done, which means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner … followed by holiday parties, Christmas dinners and New Year’s boozing … gluttony season is upon us!

While studies have shown winter weight gain to be much less than many of us may fear — averaging about a pound a year for healthy American adults — overindulgence during the holidays can be a major setback for those struggling to maintain good eating habits throughout the year.

Though we tend to blame the excessive amounts of food around us during the holidays for our overindulgence, experts say that is actually tied to our emotional reaction to the season: associating pies with Thanksgiving, remembering Mom’s mac and cheese, or even feeling lonely because we are away from our loved ones. To reduce the risk of emotional eating during the holidays, be sure not to let turkey be your comfort when feeling low … talk to someone instead.

Also, make an eating plan when attending parties or dinners (or when you know dessert trays will be all over the office) to keep you from doing too much! Say, “I’m having one serving of this,” “only two cookies,” etc … and stick to it!

Be mindful of the calories in those sweet and/or boozy drinks we tend to gulp down during the winter months. One serving of egg nog can have 350 calories … before you add alcohol! Choose wine and champagne over mixed beverages or enjoy that eggnog once or twice during the season without going back for seconds! And skip the pie if you’re gonna drink your sugar.

Skip the leftovers. If you host a holiday shindig, let your guests leave with a plate; if you are at someone else’s function, don’t feel compelled to bring chicken wings and red velvet cake home for the next day. Enjoy the goodies in the moment (and in reasonable portions) without eating like its a party 24-7.

Don’t load up on foods you aren’t excited about. Don’t let Big Mama force you into the ‘Clean Plate Club’; eat what you want and stop when you are satisfied. If the chocolate chip brownie pie you have on your plate is just ‘okay,’ then there’s no need to finish it. Let your indulgences be special and worth every calorie!

What sort of tips do you use to fight holiday weight gain?

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