Dec 19, 2014 6:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs

It’s easy to pack on the pounds during the holiday season. From the office party to the big family dinner, all those calories can definitely add up.

But you don’t have to gain weight this time of year. Bob Harper, a personal trainer on The Biggest Loser, recently appeared on the Today show to reveal clever ways to avoid holiday weight gain. We combined some of his tips and others, along with advice from Julie Metos, PhD, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at University of Utah.

1. Wear tight clothes. You won’t want to keep eating if your pants feel too tight.

2. Go last. If there’s a buffet, start at the end of the line. A lot of those dishes will look less appetizing after people have picked through them. 

3. Pick your favorites. Put one or two foods that are must-haves on your plate, and skip the rest. So, say you love macadamia nuts but feel only mildly passionate about crab dip. Go for those rich, buttery macadamias; ditch the dip.

4. Use smaller plates. Pick up the smallest plate available before hitting the buffet. Research has shown this will make you feel less deprived and more full.

5. Start active traditions. After the big family dinner, play a family football game or take a walk together to look at Christmas lights.

6. Fill up first. Enjoy soup or a salad before going to a party. That way, you won’t be so famished upon arriving that you stuff anything and everything into your mouth.

7. Take a pause. Put your fork down on the plate between bites.

8. Ask for club soda. If you drink cocktails at a party, ask the bartender to make your drink with club soda. It has fewer calories than other mixers. 

9. Sip smart. Choose a tall, thin glass instead of a short, wide tumbler. Wider glasses tend to encourage a heavier pour.

10. Set a limit and stick to it. Think about how much you’re going to eat before you go. It’s all about planning ahead.

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