It's that time of year again when pocketbooks shrink and waistbands expand.
The problem with health over the holiday season isn't that most overeat on these three holidays, but that the overeating continues for the entire three month period.
"If it were just celebrating on those special days we wouldn't have that weight gain," says registered dietitian Janice Rary. "But a lot of people start overeating around Halloween and they keep doing it through New Years."
Dietitians say the Halo Effect is cause for some weight gain over the holiday season. This occurs when there is one dominant healthy ingredient and, therefore, it is assumed that the recipe is good for you, but this isn't always the case.
It's not just food that poses a risk to your health this season.
Watch out for the liquids you drink; alcoholic and otherwise.
"We know that our brains don't really recognize liquid calories so we've got a lot of research showing that if you're drinking regular pop or something all day long, you'll sit down to the next meal and consume just as many calories as you would have if you had just been drinking water," says Rary.
The biggest preventive measure to take is to do everything in moderation. And it is always a good idea to have a healthy exercise schedule during this time of year.
The best advice may be to focus on what the holiday spirit is all about.
"Really focus on the people because isn't that why you get together with family at the holidays or isn't that why you get together with friends for a party?" says Rary. "So focus on enjoying their company and their conversation rather than just on the food."
Maybe these tips will prevent the usual New Year's resolution to lose weight and provide the opportunity to start 2012 with a creative and exciting goal in mind.
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