5 secrets to weight management during the holiday season

With co-workers bringing in desserts and more employees indulging in fattening foods, the holiday season can be a time when staff put on additional pounds. The 2013 National Health Assessment conducted by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute found more than one-quarter of people anticipate gaining holiday weight. Many workers may think the holiday season is a time when it’s necessary to treat themselves, but too much of a good thing may lead to employees harming their well-being.

To help workers curb their appetite during holiday parties, employers may want to consider implementing a weight management initiative within their existing wellness programs. The special program may include additional fitness resources, such as discounts on gym memberships or a daily walking group. Perhaps the best way to help workers is by providing tips on eating healthfully during a time when making smart choices can be difficult.

These five strategies may assist workers in maintaining their weight during the holiday season:

1. Don’t skip meals 
One of the worst things employees can do to their health is to miss meals throughout the day in order to create room for a large feast. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) says coming to a meal hungry increases the likelihood of overeating foods high in calories and carbohydrates.

2. Eat slowly 
Consuming food too quickly means it will take longer for the brain to communicate the stomach is full, which may lead workers to eat more servings of food than they anticipated. The ADA recommends remembering to enjoy the food by eating at a slow pace.

3. Indulge in moderation
Serving size and the types of foods workers eat may impact how many pounds they gain during the holiday season. However, this doesn’t mean employees should try and avoid their favorite foods. The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance suggests people indulge in what they want to eat, but remember to only consume small amounts. Employees may want to bring high-calorie goods such as desserts to share with their co-workers, so employers may want to suggest employees only bring healthy foods, such as fruit desserts, to workplace gatherings to help people make smart choices. It also may be beneficial to remind workers about the dangers of overconsuming alcohol.

4. Keep up with fitness regimes
Taking time off from the gym may be tempting for employees when their schedules fill up with holiday plans, but the ADA suggests workers plan time every day for physical activity to prevent overindulgence from sticking to their waistlines. Employers may want to implement a holiday walk within wellness programs to help workers stay moving during the holiday season. The ADA recommends conducting a turkey trot and similar activities.

5. Don’t focus on food, but on friends 
While it may seem counterproductive, thinking too much about food may cause employees to eat too much. Employers may want to advise employees to remember what they’re thankful for and to spend quality time with co-workers and friends during holiday parties to get their minds off of the foods they aren’t able to have.

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