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Avoid Holiday Weight Gain with Expert Tips

With fall upon us, it’s difficult not to think of holidays, parties, and fun. However, for those who are dieting, this time of year can be particularly challenging. Below, Manhattan Medical Weight Loss Physician Dr. Sue DeCotiis provides general weight loss tips and Co-Founder of, nutritionist Isabel De Los Rios offers healthy alternatives to ensure that you look your best through the New Year.

Know Your Body
“During the holidays it’s impossible not to think of calories if you’re on a diet. A good way to look at the season is to understand that it is possible to enjoy your festivities – just stay away from the sugar,” says Dr. DeCotiis. “Remember, the shape of a piece of candy corn is the exact shape of the insulin spike that sabotages your weight loss efforts.”

Avoid Insulin Spikes: Simple sugars that are found in candies, baked goods and alcoholic drinks spike your insulin levels. With added insulin in the bloodstream, your body reacts by storing fat. But don’t reach for the diet soda – artificial sweeteners trick the body into thinking that they are actually sugar, and once your body comes down from the spike in insulin, you’ll be hungry again. Stick with water!

 Plan Your Attack: If you’re heading out to a holiday party, think about what you’re going to eat before you go. Never arrive hungry. Make sure to hydrate yourself throughout the day, drinking ample amounts of fresh spring water in the afternoon and eating an apple about an hour before leaving for the event. This will be filling and also slow down the digestive process.

Maintain Your Health: Holidays are often an excuse to stop going to the gym, but if you’re going to be attending events, be mindful that you should try to fit in aerobic exercise at least three times a week. This will help to lower insulin levels and keep you looking good in your little black dress. Dr. DeCotiis recommends fish oil to her patients to balance out the toxins that go into your body during this season.

Look Into Alternatives
“I hate to say that there is any candy that is good to eat, but there are some that are not as detrimental to health as others. Stay away from all candy that contains high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil,” says Isabel De Los Rios. “Instead opt for choices made from dark chocolate or 100% milk chocolate.”

Healthy Halloween: Isabel recommends boxes of raisins, all natural fruit leather, and natural chocolates when you’re met with trick-or-treaters. Read the labels of whatever you find in your child’s goody bag, and create a throwaway pile for unhealthy foods. As long as there is a delicious healthy option, your children will be happy.

Get Involved: Take the reigns yourself and host a holiday party – then you can control the menu and keep it as healthy as possible! Since this time of the year is about family, get your children involved by creating delectable dishes that are nutritious and satisfying.

Be Informed: Look for all natural products, and if you’re going to a party where you know healthy food won’t be an option, bring your own! Snacking on a small handful of nuts or bringing your own vegetarian version of dinner will save time and energy by knowing what it is that you’re putting into your body.

For more tips and tricks from Isabel De Los Rios & Dr. DeCotiis, visit &, follow @Beyond_Diet & @WeightLossMD_NY on Twitter, and “Like” Beyond Diet & Manhattan Medical Weight Loss Physician on Facebook.