The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but did you know that Americans each gain an average of 1 pound during this time? That might not seem like a lot, but it may be one of the biggest contributors to your total annual weight gain.

The good news, however, is that holiday weight gain is not inevitable. As a dietitian, I like to put the tips listed below in action to ensure I am doing what is best for my body during this busy time of year.

Be active with family and friends.It is common for families to engage in a lot of sitting during the holiday season. Getting up and going for a walk instead of sitting after dinner is a great way to bond with loved ones, as well as burn off some calories!

Watch your portion sizes.It can be easy to overload your plate with seasonal dishes, and thus also overload on calories. By limiting your portion sizes, you can try the foods that you want without overdoing it.

Keep meals balanced with protein.Holiday meals are typically very rich in carbohydrates, but low in protein. You are promoting fullness by including some protein with every meal, and it can also be useful for weight maintenance.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Limit liquid calories.Alcohol, soda, and other calorie-rich drinks are common during the holiday season. These drinks contain a significant amount of empty calories, which can lead to weight gain. Allow yourself to have one of these drinks and then switch to water or tea.

Below I have included a delicious seasonal recipe that includes citrus, which is abundant in the winter months. This recipe is packed with protein and can make a tasty and unique holiday meal.

2 pounds salmon fillet

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 lime, thinly sliced

1/2 lemon, thinly sliced

1/2 blood orange, thinly sliced

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

3 sprigs fresh dill

3 sprigs fresh parsley

1 head garlic, unpeeled and halved

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Pat salmon dry with paper towels and place on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place lime, lemon, blood orange, and red onion slices on top of salmon. Sprinkle with fresh dill and parsley sprigs and place halved onion heads on either side of salmon.

Bake salmon 20 to 25 minutes, or until salmon easily flakes with a fork (145 degrees). Remove salmon from oven.

To serve salmon, remove fresh citrus slices and herbs; discard. Cut salmon into 6 portions and serve immediately.

Serves: 6

Nutrition facts (per serving): 350 calories, 23g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 85 mg cholesterol, 410mg sodium, 3g total carbohydrates, 0g dietary fiber, 1g total sugars, 0g added sugars, 31g protein.

Recipe from hy-vee.com.