Hold it for the Holidays: 7 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Hold it for the Holidays: 7 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Dec 01 2021

Stay on track this holiday season without depriving yourself. Avoid holiday weight gain with these seven simple tips.

The most wonderful time of the year is here again – almost two full months of holiday celebrations. Though COVID-19 is still a concern and parties and gatherings may be smaller than years past … there will likely still be food. Lots and lots of food. Delicious desserts and tempting treats as far as the eye can see.

Holiday weight gain is extremely common; most adults gain at least a pound or two between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.  So how do you keep yourself from adding the extra holiday weight without depriving yourself? Here are seven tips to keep yourself in check.

1. Never arrive hungry.

Plan ahead and have a healthy snack before you begin to celebrate, and you’ll be less tempted to overfill your plate with that delivery of your aunt’s famous chocolate fudge. If you don’t have time for a pre-party snack, have a glass of water to help fill yourself up.

2. Focus on family and friends.

Parties (whether in-person or virtual) are about more than just the food. Focus on spending time with your friends and family instead of filling up your plate. Time flies when you’re having fun, and catching up friends or family you haven’t talked to all year will leave less time for you to go back for seconds.

3. Manage your stress.

The holiday season provides added responsibilities on top of your already busy schedule. These tasks can cause feelings of stress and frustration, which may lead you to eat more or eat less healthy, often called stress-eating.  To help combat stress-eating, make sure to say no to obligations that may be too much for your schedule and take a break if needed. By checking in with your body and stress levels often, you’ll be able to face holiday chaos and food with stronger willpower and positivity.

4. BYOD (Bring Your Own Dish).

Bring your favorite low-calorie entrée or dessert to the gathering you’re attending. You’ll have a delicious dish to enjoy, and the more indulgent options will be less tempting. Not to mention, some of your family and friends may be looking to eat a little lighter this holiday season as well. Here are some simple swaps and great recipes to make holiday dishes healthier.

5. Take it slow.

Don’t give yourself a limit and say you’re only eating during the first hour of the party, or that you won’t go back for seconds. You’ll be more inclined to overfill your plate, or eat faster than normal to keep to your limit. Instead, chew slowly, set your utensils down in between bites and take the time to really enjoy your food. This will give your body time to realize it’s full, and you’ll be less likely to overeat.

6. Save sweets till the end.

Before hitting the dessert options, grab some fruits and veggies first. Choosing the healthy options available will keep you full, and the natural sweetness of fruit will help satisfy your sweet tooth.

7. Amp up the Exercise.

Help keep those extra calories at bay by making small adjustments to your exercise routine. Add an extra mile to your run, or spend an extra 20 minutes lifting weights and it will be easier to keep your weight in check. Better yet – get the whole family involved! Start a new tradition and go for a walk after dinner to check out the holiday decorations in your neighborhood.

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