How to avoid that holiday weight gain

It's everybody's favorite time of the year, but it's also a time when people struggle with gaining pounds for a number of reasons said nutrition educator Missi Kibodeaux.

"A lot of people find that they are stress eaters, maybe more so during the holiday time," Kibodeaux said. "They find that they grab more food on the go, they find that the foods are more of a comfort-type foods."

If you're smart about your eating habits you can still have some of your holiday favorites by swapping out some ingredients

"You can still enjoy your pumpkin pie or cookies, you just substitute in healthier ingredients," she said. "You can eat healthy and enjoy (it)."

A local fitness trainer said eating healthy is only half the equation to keeping off the extra holiday weight.

Scott Denson, head trainer at Gigi's Downtown, said being active is just as important.

"Folks that are working out currently, sometimes during the holidays they tend to self sabotage and let their busy schedules prevent them from getting the exercise that they're used to getting or need," Denson said.

One of the best ways to make sure you get that exercise you need is to have a workout buddy.

"Working out with friends, working out with a professional, inviting someone to come workout with you. No one should overlook the benefit of socializing and exercising at the same time."

Denson had one more tip for when you head out to those holiday parties.

"When you get to the event hang out with the talkers, not the eaters," Denson said. "Enjoy the holidays but don't put yourself in positions that will make you ask 'why did I gain that weight? or 'why haven't I been active?'"

Denson and Kibodeaux said another easy way to keep from overdoing it during the holidays is to eat something healthy before heading out to the celebrations.

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