Dr. Mehmet Oz said weight gain does not have to a given during the hectic holiday season if you eat right and stay active, he told Extra TV Dec. 17.
Dr. Oz said staying in shape doesn't require grueling daily workouts at the gym, but can be as simple as taking a short walk.
Studies show that a 10- or 15-minute walk can dramatically reduce the post-meal insulin spikes that fuel inflammation and weight gain. The "Dr. Oz Show" host pointed out that walking and simply being active is closely tied to longevity.
"Walking is the simplest, easiest way to live longer," said Dr. Oz, who noted that populations that live the longest around the world are those who stay active on a daily basis.
To ward off holiday weight gain, Dr. Oz suggested having a healthy snack such as nuts, raw vegetables, or a big cup of water before going to a party. Once you're there, he said don't go overboard by overeating, and limit liquid calories by substituting sparkling water for sugary sodas.
To stay energized during the holidays, Dr. Oz said you should feel free to enjoy a cup of coffee because it's rich in antioxidants, which reduce inflammation.
"Coffee is actually OK," he said. "It's the No. 1 source of antioxidants. The catch with coffee is the cream and sugar. That will throw you off your game."
Finally, Dr. Oz offered a tip for new moms on how to avoid the holiday blues. He said new moms are often depleted of omega-3 fatty acids, leading to depression and mood swings. Consuming foods high in omega-3 content such as salmon and sardines will replenish the healthy fats that regulate mood and energy.