Many of us have heard about the “seasonal seven.” That’s the seven pounds the average person gains between Thanksgiving and New Year’s! Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that winter weight is harder to shed than pounds packed on in the spring or summer, because we move less, and eat fattier foods. So, how can you avoid the “seasonal seven,” and stay healthy? Try these tips:

  • Rethink your fear of pasta. Many people avoid pasta, rice and cereal during the holidays, because they associate carbohydrate-rich foods with weight gain. The reality is that pasta can actually help you lose weight, if you choose pastas made from whole grains. That’s because whole grains take longer to digest, so they’ll fill you up faster and help you eat less.
  • Keep a food journal. Studies have shown that the act of writing down what you eat and drink every day can help you lose weight. Why? Because you’ll be more aware of your food weaknesses, making you less likely to overindulge. The good news is there are many downloadable cell phone applications which can help make keeping a food journal accurate and easy, like the “Lose It” app for iPhones.
  • Get your holiday parties started early. An hour before attending the annual office party, or a big family gathering, try eating a protein and fiber-rich snack, like a serving of string cheese, an apple, or a handful of nuts. The protein and fiber will fill you up, and help take the edge off your cravings. That way, you’ll be less likely to let one or two gingerbread cookies turn into an entire gingerbread house.

What tricks do have to keep from packing on the pounds during the holidays?