Tips to help you enjoy holiday meals while staying healthy

Source: MGN Online
Source: MGN Online

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - For most families, it's never a good idea to discuss politics, religion, or sports rivalries at the holiday dinner table. But there is another subject experts say you should also avoid: weight.

A lot of people gain a few pounds during the holiday season, but psychologists say it's best not to point that out, even if you are concerned over a loved one's health. People generally do not pack on a substantial amount of pounds with holiday eating. If you approach the subject, you might be doing more harm than good.

"Most people know when they have gone up," said UAB clinical psychologist Dr. Joshua Klapow. "Instead of pointing out what they may very well know, be a role model. You can take action by starting to eat healthy and exercise. Make it about you and let them model your behavior."

Beth Kitchin with UAB's Department of Nutrition Sciences believes since food is a big part of the holidays, it's OK to indulge occasionally. She says the season is more about weight maintenance than weight loss.

"I always tell people over the holidays to choose the best and leave the rest," said Kitchen. "If you can just stay where you are through this really challenging month of December, and come out on the other end not gaining any weight, that's a huge accomplishment."

Kitchen says it's important to exercise regularly and not to go overboard when you do eat.

"Think portion control, eat a small piece of that pie that you really want, don't go back for seconds though," said Kitchin.

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