People gain weight during the holidays, but not as much as they think, according to dietitian Cynthia Sass. Sass points to a 2009 study from Texas Tech University that followed 48 men and 100 women for six weeks from Thanksgiving to Christmas. On average, the subjects gained one and a half to two pounds each.
While this gain isn’t terrible, it tends to stay on. Sass says weight creep is responsible for adults gaining 10 to 20 pounds over a 10-year period.
If you want to avoid that extra pound or two, Sass recommends drinking two cups of water before meals. One study found that adults who followed this prescription were able to shed 40 percent more weight during a 12-week diet period. Drinking water also makes us less hungry.
Finally, budget your carbs. Holidays are carb heavy with potatoes, cakes, pies, breads, and cookies. Try to choose just one carb item each day so you can indulge, but not at every single meal. If banana bread is on the menu for lunch, skip the toast and potatoes at breakfast and dinner.