The average American gains 5 to 10 pounds every year during the holiday season!  Not the physique you had in mind? Here are a few tips to help you emulate Santa's jolliness this holiday season — not his waistline.

Focus on weight management rather than weight loss.

Plan time for exercise.   Exercise relieves stress, boosts your mood, and puts you in the mind frame that you are a healthy person so eating healthier is easier.

If you know that you will not find any healthy choices, offer to bring something along, such as a salad, vegetable dish, chicken, or fish.

Pace yourself and become more aware of what you are eating and drinking. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.

Select small portions.  

If you drink, select lite wines and beers, and liquors mixed with diet drinks. Alcohol is high in calories.

Stand away from buffet tables and food trays to avoid the urge to nibble constantly.  

Learn to say “no” politely. You can say: “No thank you. I have had enough. Everything was delicious.” This works even with someone who will not take “no” for an answer.

Even if you are not completely successful at eating right, compliment yourself for trying and then try harder the next time!  Know yourself, and plan ahead.

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