Authored by Revere Health

How to Beat Holiday Weight Gain

November 1, 2016 | Weight Management

The holidays are a time for expressing gratitude, spending time with family and sharing meals with those you love, but this special time of year can cause anxiety for those trying to lose or maintain weight. While most people only gain a pound or two during the holiday season, few ever lose them. This makes holiday weight gain an important factor in adult obesity.

Keeping your weight fluctuation to a minimum during the holidays doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your favorite dishes, it just means that you need to plan ahead and exercise more discipline. By following these tips, you can prevent weight gain while still enjoying the holidays.

Don’t skip meals:

Skipping breakfast and possibly lunch sounds like a pretty good way to prep for a dinner that is likely to be high in calories, but science says otherwise. There is a lot of research to show that skipping meals causes you to overeat later. If you are going into dinner starving, you are more likely to fill up on unhealthy foods. By eating a reasonable breakfast and lunch, you can ensure that you don’t go to a party famished and are in the best position to make good food choices and fully enjoy the treats you choose to eat.

Survey your options:

When you first arrive at a party it is easy to grab the first snack you see, but getting to know all of your options can help prevent you from eating extra calories. By knowing what kinds of high calorie treats are available, you can better pick the ones you want to enjoy. This helps you avoid eating treats that you don’t really care about and fill up on healthier choices.

Use a plate:

It is easy to get into the habit of snacking at parties, but when you walk around aimlessly grazing it is easy to lose sight of how much you have actually eaten. Almost everyone has stood by the chip bowl and lost track of how many chips they had actually eaten. Putting all of your food on one plate allows you to accurately gauge how much you have consumed.

Find balance:

If you know that you are going to eat a lot of calories at a dinner party, balance it out by eating fewer calories than you usually do on the days leading up to the event. While it is not wise to skip meals, eating healthy and reducing calories can help balance out the holiday treats.

Work out in the morning:

Your schedule is likely busier than normal during the holiday season, but now is not the time to skimp out on your fitness routine. Planning a time in advance to do an exercise that you enjoy will make it easier for you to stick to your normal fitness program.

Think about what you’re drinking:

Holiday parties are a haven for high calorie beverages. From sweet punches and soda to alcohol and sparkling cider, there is no shortage of empty calories to choose from. These drinks have no nutritional value and do little but add calories and sugar to your diet. If you are not careful, your beverage choices can add pounds during the holidays. If you are going to indulge in a high calorie drink, be strategic about it. Plan when it will be most enjoyable for you. If you know you want a glass of red wine with dinner, then drink plenty of water beforehand. The same goes with soda — by keeping yourself hydrated on water, you are less likely to over drink.

To thine own self be true:

Indulge in the foods that make you the happiest. If you love rich chocolate cake, but are trying to watch your figure, eat the cake but skip the savory appetizers. If you love starchy side dishes like mashed potatoes, scale back in other areas. By thinking about what foods you are most excited for in advance, you can better plan how you eat.

Weigh yourself twice a week:

One of the biggest problems people face with holiday weight gain is that they don’t keep track of it and only realize the problem after gaining significant weight. By weighing yourself in the morning on an empty stomach twice a week, you can better gauge how you are doing. This makes it possible for you to adjust your workout and eating habits before you find yourself with unwanted extra weight.

The holidays should be a time of joy, not constant worry. By following these tips you can still enjoy the season and all of the yummy treats it brings without the stress of having to lose weight after.

If you are currently overweight and looking for help, Revere Health has a weight loss and nutrition center that can help you get back on track. They can help you achieve your goals by focusing on health and nutrition rather than a number on the scale. If you have any questions about the Revere Health’s weight management program, visit their website.

Our family practices and 29 medical specialties allow us the opportunity to offer you and your family complete healthcare at any stage of life. Let’s live better.


The Live Better Team

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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.