(WFSB) - Americans can gain up to 2 pounds during the holiday season, according to researchers.

While that may not sound like much, researchers said that can add up over the years.

There are a few ways to curb it, however.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests not saving an appetite for a big holiday party or feast.

It said skipping meals during the day could lead to over-eating later.

The academy also recommended eating smaller portions. People could utilize a strategy such as using a smaller plate or filling the plate with veggies.

It also advised to keep moving after dinner.

Channel 3 spoke with an obesity medicine specialist with Hartford Healthcare about what people could be doing to stay on track and tackle their weight-loss goals.

"I think the new year is a great time of year because people are highly motivated around this time of year," said Dr. Devika Umashanker, obesity medicine specialist, Hartford Healthcare. "One of the biggest recommendations I would make is setting realistic goals through their weight loss journey."

Some of those realistic goals could include doing 30 minutes of cardio per day, building lean muscle with resistance training and preparing healthy meals.

Another thing to consider is how much alcohol is consumed.

"Patients should be aware when they start their new year and start their weight loss process to really cut down on alcohol intake," Umashanker said. "Alcohol, our body thinks it's a form of toxin so what it does is it burns it off first before we burn off any food that we eat."

When people eat, they should eat slowly and savor each bite.

Umashanker also said it's important to have some sort of support system in place to keep a person motivated.

Anyone looking to learn more can simply contact a registered dietician in their area.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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