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Thanksgiving is just five weeks away, which means you have time to start pre-planning to avoid the holiday weight gain. But, there’s good news for those of you who just want to enjoy the season and not worry.

Trainer Doug Quinlivan at Ascent Fitness in Denver says there are two schools of thought. One, you can watch your calories and burn off the extra at the gym. Or, two, you can just have fun.

“Don’t be so concerned about what you’re eating. Be concerned with having a good time,” Doug said. But, be realistic he said. “Set the expectation that you’re probably going to gain a couple of pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.”

So, stay consistent with your workouts and know that some of that so-called weight gain is sodium based. “You’re not going to gain a pound of fat if you eat one really bad meal or if you eat two really bad meals, or three or five.”

Doug said, “Most of the weight gain that you experience from one meal has nothing to do with actual weight gain.”

Finally, about the scale, Doug said you really shouldn’t be getting on it but once every two weeks because normal fluctuations can be discouraging rather than motivating.  “The food that you eat today is not going to result in any kind of dramatic change in your actual body composition tomorrow.”

Of course, if you want to really buckle down and avoid any weight gain over the holiday season, then Doug said you should load up on veggies, chew slowly and stay away from the higher carb and sugary foods, and stay consistent at the gym.

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