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Eat wisely this holiday season


The holiday season can be a difficult time to keep the pounds off. In fact, several studies have suggested that the average person could gain five pounds or more during the holidays. It is not easy to resist the temptations provided by holiday parties and family get-togethers, but these few simple tips may help:

  Don't skip meals. Showing up at a party too hungry may cause you to overeat and snack on unhealthy hors d'oeuvres before dinner is served.

  • Since dehydration can cause you to feel hungry, drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.
  • Watch the portion (and plate) size. Smaller plates lead to smaller portions. Try more variety in your food selection and enjoy the tastes.
  • Get rid of the skin! The skin on turkey can add up to 200 extra calories to the meat. 
  • Desserts made with graham cracker crusts are generally lower in fat than the traditional homemade pie crusts.
  • Handle your temptations. If you want both pumpkin and apple pie, take smaller slices of each instead of two regular slices.
  • Avoid liquid calories. Alcohol is perhaps the biggest contributor to weight gain during the holiday season as it has nearly twice as many calories as carbohydrates or protein. Sugary carbonated beverages can also pack on some serious pounds.


Make physical activity part of your holiday season, as well. Use the stairs at the mall, do an extra lap when holiday shopping or take that parking spot a little further away.


Additionally, if you're looking to meet friends and family out for a meal over the holidays, consider choosing one of the Independent Health Foundation's Healthy Options restaurants. Through this program, the Foundation works with area restaurants to offer heart-healthy food options for their customers. These Healthy Options, which are considered lower in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, are offered in nearly 100 Buffalo area restaurants. To locate a Healthy Options restaurant, visit


Remember, the holidays should be filled with family and friends, not regrets and overeating. Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

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