With temperatures dropping and holiday food abundantly available, it’s easy to gain weight during the winter months. During this time of year, a sensible goal might be to avoid weight gain rather than to lose weight. Here are some ways you can maintain your weight during the chilly winter months.

Mind Your Portion Sizes

Holiday functions tend to feature calorie-rich foods, but it’s important not to overindulge. Having a hearty snack, like cheese and whole-grain crackers or a bowl of broth-based soup before attending events can take the edge off your hunger, making it easier for you to choose moderate portions of your favorite foods. Instead of grazing from bowls of snacks, make yourself a small plate and limit yourself to just one. At sit-down dinners, avoid taking seconds (or thirds).

Choose Fiber-Filled Foods

Even if you’re having a hard time sticking to your diet, the simple step of boosting your fiber intake can allow you to maintain your weight by keeping you fuller for longer, and improving the way your body processes insulin. Whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and whole fruits are nutritious and filling sources of dietary fiber.

Avoid Alcohol

Indulging in a few specialty drinks (eggnog, anyone?) can make the holiday season feel more festive, but be aware that alcoholic beverages can add some heft to your calorie count. Try sipping on no-calorie flavored water or looking for alcohol-free, low-calorie versions of your favorite drinks.

Stay Active

Cold temperatures and potentially treacherous travel conditions can make it difficult to stick to an exercise routine. Still, staying active is essential for everyone. If you’re heading outside to work out, dress in layers and pay attention to the temperature; if it’s below freezing, you’ll need to take extra precautions to guard against frostbite.

Exercising indoors is another option. You can take an aerobics class, join a winter sports league, jog up and down the stairs on your lunch break, or make the effort to work out on your own at home.

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/portion_size.html

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/making-one-change-getting-fiber-can-help-weight-loss-201502177721

https://www.uhs.uga.edu/documents/nutrition_alcohol.pdf

http://tn.gov/health/news/13244