Avoiding a few extra pounds at the holidays

FRESNO, Calif.

We all have our holiday favorites, but overindulge and you'll pay the price long after the new year.

Judy Meadows, registered dietician at Kaiser Permanente in Fresno, says she sees a spike in clients after the holidays who want to lose the weight they gained.

She says a few simple table tricks could help you avoid the extra pounds in the first place.

"One of the important things is to have a plate so that you're actually seeing how much you're eating because at parties we tend to graze or stand and have a conversation in front of the buffet table and then who knows how much you've eaten," Meadows said.

Judy also shows her clients real examples of what they're eating at parties or family gatherings.

"If you put a little thought into it, there are easy ways to downsize your portions or substitute things and still enjoy the festivities and not gain the weight or as much weight," she said.

Another example: the plates packed with veggies, are only 220 calories with hummus or salsa for a dip, but 220 calories adds up fast with a few corn chips and a creamy dip.

According to a New England Journal of Medicine study, most people don't lose the 1 to 2 pounds they gain over the holidays. The news is even worse for those already overweight: they can gain up to 5 pounds.

With a little planning before you party, you can still enjoy the holidays and start the new year without an extra pound.

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