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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Conrad

6 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Updated: Dec 3, 2019

Enjoy your meals without packing on the pounds.

I gotta say Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. Family, friends, food, football...SO GOOD! Also really easy to go overboard with all the pumpkin pies and turkey or ham - I have yet to taste a juicy turkey - and green beans and yams and brussel sprouts. Mmmm. But turning down all that goodness is not an option! The following are 5 ways to enjoy your holidays without gaining +10 pounds of fat.

1. Eat Mindfully

Chew slowly. Put your fork down between bites. It takes time for our brains to respond to satiety signals. Enjoy your food by eating slowly and savoring each bite. Also, it's okay if you don't finish your plate. If 3 bites of a dish satisfies you, then don't finish it out of guilt. Also it's okay if you don't eat everything that's offered. As a result, you’ll eat less food overall and have fewer stomach aches from overconsumption.

2. Drink Water

Liquid calories can add up real quick. Choose water rather than an alcoholic or sugar-sweetened beverage. Or limit the sugary drinks to 1-2 for the night. Have a full glass of water when you arrive at a party or before you eat a meal. That will help with calorie control.

3. Get Out and Exercise Early

In essence, weight gain is calories in > calories out. We are most likely eating more than usual during the holidays. Don't get me wrong, enjoy your meals (mindfully), but keep up on your exercise. I know its tough, but what I recommend is getting your workout in as soon as you wake up. Go for a walk, jog, small circuit or lift some iron. Anything to get a little sweat before you indulge. Exercise will also relieve stress in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

4. Eat Regularly Throughout the Day

Avoid saving all your calories for the holiday party. Sounds like a great idea, but arriving starved to a holiday party is never good idea. Just like going grocery shopping hungry is a bad idea. Eat regularly throughout the day and have a nutritious snack before you leave. If you do not, you will arrive ravenous and eat way more than normal. Holidays are also known for extra sweets and savory foods, but be sure not to skip your greens.

5. Buddy Up

New Rule: Never head to a holiday party alone. Find a buddy that is also sticking to a healthy eating plan and go together. Mingle with friends and enjoy the company, not just the food. Standing near the buffet table all evening doesn't help. Also saying no to extras is easier with a buddy.


Don’t get me wrong — the holiday season is all about celebrating, having fun, and indulging in food, but with some careful planning, you can navigate holiday party food spreads, hectic schedules and find yourself in January at the same weight. And wouldn’t that be great?

What are some of your tips?

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