Preventing Holiday Weight Gain

December brings holiday parties. Holiday parties bring celebratory drinks and goodies. Seasonal drinks and goodies can sometimes bring on the pounds.

The New England Journal of Medicine released a study revealing the average American (with a normal BMI-body mass index) gains one pound from Thanksgiving to New Years, each year. What’s worse? If you’re overweight or obese you average a two to five pound weight gain through the holidays. What’s even worse? They found we don’t ever lose that weight. Each year packing on a little more, and twenty years later… 20- 100 pounds heavier. agh.

So how can we prevent seasonal weight gain, and not feel deprived through the holidays?

  • Stop nibbling when cooking. Cooking Light Magazine totaled up the number of calories we generally consume while cooking a big meal, like Thanksgiving. Total number of calories: 768 big ones. Here is the article.
  • Keep up your exercise routine. So many people throw in the towel on eating and exercise around the holidays. The best thing you can do to prevent weight gain, and enjoy some holiday treats is to kick your physical activity up a notch.
  • Plan for indulgence. Eat cleaner the days prior to holiday gatherings. Budget some extra calories in your bank, prior to indulging in those Christmas cookies.
  • Never go to a party hungry. Eat a balanced protein-rich snack pre-party to fill you up.
  • Portion control. Use smaller plates at potlucks and holiday buffets. Put food on plates at holiday parties, rather than nibbling off platters.
  • Watch calorie laden appetizers and drinks. Eggnog? Spiced Peppermint Latte? Think…excessive fat grams 🙁
  • Bring your own “healthy dish” to the party. You’ll know what’s in it, and you can fill up on that.
  • Fill up on lean proteins and veggies
  • Focus on socializing. Remember, spending time with loved ones is the reason for the season… not stuffing our faces till we can’t breathe. 🙂 At a party stay with the “talkers”, not the “eaters” and the “drinkers”.
  • Write it down. Continue food journaling throughout the winter months. Having to record each “treat” may make us think twice about that fifth brownie.
  • Weigh yourself, try on your “tight” jeans. So many people avoid the scale and live in sweatpants throughout the holiday season, then come January we can’t zip our pants. If we continue to put on pants with “little give” we will notice when we’re indulging a bit too much.
  • Take a walk or plan family activities. Rather than sitting on our bums after eating a little more than usual, why not get out and be active? Friendly game of basketball, walk around the block, anything to move!
  • Savor your food. Indulge in some of the season’s best foods, and savor them. I cannot stress this enough. Enjoy!
  • Don’t throw in the towel. Did you go a little overboard at that meal? No need to throw in the towel for the day. Go overboard an entire day? It doesn’t ruin the week. Jump right back on track.

This post is a reminder to be mindful about what we’re eating and drinking. It’s not meant to deprive us, or depress us about what we cannot have. Enjoy treats and especially enjoy time with friends and families.

Have a Merry, Merry Christmas. 🙂

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