ROANOKE, Va. -

The average person gains between five to eight pounds during the holidays.

Carilion Clinic Dietitian Martha Ross says the main area most folks go wrong is impulse eating.

During the holidays, there are a few things you can do to avoid gaining weight. 

1). Start strength training as soon as possible. Lifting weights three times a week is the fastest way to speed up your metabolism and shaping your body.

2). Don't nibble while cooking. Instead of snacking, chew gum or set aside a bowl of baby carrots.

3). Eat breakfast whether you're hungry or not. Skipping breakfast to save calories for later, will cause you to overeat.

4). Eat five small meals a day instead of three big meals. Use smaller plates to fool your brain.

5). Slow down while you eat. Put your fork down between bites. Chew your food longer.

Pumpkin Fluff Dip

1 (16 oz) container whipped topping (Cool Whip)

1 (5 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix

1 (15 oz) can solid pack pumpkin

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, mix together instant vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in the whipped topping and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Chill in the refrigerator overnight. Serve with gingersnaps or cinnamon graham crackers.

Calories per 2 tablespoons

25 calories

1 grams fat

3.5 grams carbohydrates