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Health Day

5 Steps to Get Back on the Diet Track After the Holidays

TUESDAY, Jan. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Even though successful dieters work harder than non-dieters at maintaining their weight over the holidays, they often face more weight gain than thinner people. And gaining weight often goes on for another month … into the new year, according to the National Weight Control Registry.

But you can stop the scale from creeping further up and get back on track with renewed dedication starting now.

Diet slips are a normal part of any lifestyle change. Slips don't really hurt your progress over the long-term, but how you react to a slip can.

Negative thoughts are the most dangerous and can leave you feeling discouraged and down on yourself. Counter them with positive affirmations. Review the diet success you had before the holidays and return to your good eating habits without reprimanding yourself.

Don't let holiday overeating extend one day longer. That means get back on track with your very next meal -- not tomorrow, next Monday or next month. This way, you can limit weight gain and not let it feed on itself.

Zero in on your food triggers so you can avoid them in the future. Sampling grandma's homemade stuffing at one meal isn't going to do much damage, but taking home leftovers to eat for days could. This kind of awareness will help you make better food decisions.

Renew your commitment to weight loss and healthy eating by decreasing calories and increasing exercise time for one full week. This can wipe out a typical 1-to-2 pound holiday gain.

Go back to carefully planning out every meal -- and snack -- in your digital or paper journal, emphasizing vegetables, fruit, lean protein and whole grains.

These steps will keep a lapse from turning into a relapse and a more significant weight gain.

More information

If you need a reboot of healthy food practices, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tips for improving your eating habits.

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