Health Tips: Unwanted Holiday Pounds

For many Americans, the holiday season is stressful. If turning to food is your solution to feeling better, you might be setting yourself up for a heavy 2013.

“If you use food as a crutch, this time of year could be troublesome,” said Stefanie Barthmare, a psychotherapist with the Methodist Weight Management Center in Houston. “Getting to the root of your problems and finding better ways to deal with them without food will help you avoid putting on extra unwanted pounds this holiday season.” Barthmare said many of us make bad decisions about food under stress because we want a distraction from what is challenging us. She also notes that between the middle of October to the end of the year, many of us will gain seven to 10 pounds.

There are ways to navigate through everyday problems without resorting to food: take a walk, call a friend, read a book. Take part in anything that gets you away from wanting to eat in times of stress.