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Don't surrender to holiday pounds

  • Story Highlights
  • Take steps to avoid holiday weight gain
  • At the buffet table, choose a smaller plate; you'll eat less
  • If you're having alcohol, try a bloody Mary; it counts as a serving of veggies
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By Linda Saether
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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Is it just me or does everyone hear the "Jaws" theme in his or her head when arriving at a holiday buffet? The only question is whether I'm the shark going on attack or it's some sort of mating call to those extra pounds that will no doubt settle somewhere on my body. It's probably a combination.

For most of us, holiday weight gain is only a pound or two, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Face it: The holidays are upon us, and some things are certain: Besides getting at least one gift that you will re-gift or was re-gifted to you, there's a good chance you'll gain some weight. Luckily for most of us that weight gain is only a pound or two, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health.

"Pffft," you say. "A pound or two. I can lose that in a week."

Yep, you're right. You can, but you and I won't.

Suddenly that itty bitty weight gain has taken you from a slightly tighter fit in your favorite jeans to the point of considering, gasp, an elastic waistband. And in the language of jeans, an elastic waist is just about the same as giving up.

But don't do that. Video Watch how to avoid dreaded holiday weight gain »

Personal trainer and certified sports nutritionist Alyte Piedra says you should put up your dukes and fight back.

First, she suggests that you strut your stuff. "When going to a party, wear high heels. Not only will you be working on your calves, core and balance, you will automatically look thinner. Another'll be less likely to keep going up to the buffet for seconds."

However if you do go back for seconds, Piedra suggests that you follow the "less is more" philosophy when it comes to the plates. "Instead of a regular plate, use a dessert or appetizer plate. Since it's smaller in size, you'll eat less."

Under the "having your cake and eating it too" headline, the sports nutritionist offers some practical drinking advice. "Have a bloody Mary. Not only is it lower in calories than other mixed drinks, but you also get to count it as a serving of veggies."

Finally, Piedra stresses, you should dress for holiday buffet success.


"Wear a form-fitting dress or tight skirt or pants. You will automatically want to eat less. If you do go back for seconds, you will immediately be reminded to put your fork down."

If all else fails and you do overindulge, don't beat yourself up. Every day is a new chance to start fresh. Just tell yourself you will do better tomorrow: Eat lighter the next few days and take a few extra walks around the office, parking lot or neighborhood. That should keep the holiday damage to a minimum. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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