How to NOT gain weight over the next 10 weeks

Can you believe Halloween is just two weeks away?

We're officially entering that time of year marked by falling leaves, cooler air... and tempting high-calorie treats, from the pumpkin spice coffee this month to the pumpkin pies next month.

And then, of course, there are all those holiday parties -- excuses to get everyone together and eat, eat, eat.

So most folks start to get as plump as a Thanksgiving turkey, especially as Christmas approaches -- and the latest research shows this happens just about everywhere.

The new study finds that in the United States and Germany, people pack on the pounds in November and December. Even in Japan, which has its own set of big holidays in December, people gain weight during the final weeks of the year.

In the 10 days around Christmas, people in all three countries gained weight -- and while Americans actually gained the least, the number is a little deceptive.

Americans actually gain weight twice -- so once you factor Thanksgiving into the equation, we move to the top of the list.

Americans gain an average of 0.2 percent of body weight during Thanksgiving and 0.4 percent of body weight during Christmas.

If you're at 200 pounds, that's a hair under half a pound at Thanksgiving and a little less than a pound at Christmas. Put them together, and it's 1.2 pounds for a 200-pound man for the Thanksgiving-Christmas period.

That's not a lot. You may not even notice it -- and half of it is lost after the holidays.

But the other half stays. It stays every year -- and every year, you add to it.

After a few decades, you could easily have an extra 15 to 20 pounds just in leftover holiday weight.

Thanks the size of a Thanksgiving turkey for a small family!

So let me give you three tips for surviving the next two and a half months with your waistline intact.

First, don't buy any Halloween candy you would eat yourself. This way, you're not tempted into snacking on the treats. Get something gross that only kids eat -- or, if you want to be the least popular house on the block, offer something healthy.

When Halloween is over, toss anything that's left or donate it to the troops overseas if you have a lot of it. Operation Gratitude has information on where you can send it right here.

Alternatively, many dental offices will collect candy to send the Operation Gratitude so you don't even have to pay for the shipping.

Second, watch those holiday specialty drinks, from alcohol at parties to the fancy coffees in places like Starbucks. Some of those "seasonal coffees" can pack as many calories as an entire meal... and almost all of it from sugar.

It's not coffee at that point. It's diabetes in a cup!

And third, don't be afraid to enjoy yourself. When it comes time for a big holiday dinner, celebrate with your loved ones.

The real key is in making sure that EVERY day doesn't become a feast day, as so often happens around the holidays. Keep the temptation under control if you're invited out to parties and get-togethers, and save your calories for the big meals on the big days with those closest to you.