6 Tips to Beat Holiday Weight Gain

Written by Maren Wolsky, Healthy Eating Coach, RD, LRD

 The holiday season is quickly approaching, along with the weight gain that tends to come with it.  Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s there is nothing but holiday parties, family gatherings, and temptation everywhere!  Arming yourself with strategies before the time comes can help you prevent gaining a few unwanted pounds.


Below are six tips to help prevent holiday weight gain:

  1. Get in extra workouts.  Make time during your week to get in an extra workout to torch a few more calories.  Squeeze in an exercise class, go for an additional run, or fit in another yoga session.
  2. Don’t skip meals.  If you think you will cut calories by skipping meals, you won’t.  You are much more likely to overeat later in the day, especially with tempting food around.  Having a small meal before attending a party will fill you up causing you to eat less.  Aim for a meal or snack every 3-4 hours and include protein and high fiber foods (fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains) to keep you satisfied longer.
  3. Control your alcohol intake.  During the holidays cocktails are everywhere.  Remember that they can contain a significant amount of calories, so limit it to one or choose low calorie options.
  4. Keep track of what you eat.  Writing down all the things you have eaten makes it more real.  If you see it on paper you are likely to notice your habits and from there you can adjust. You can also use handy apps or websites to track your eating, such as My Fitness Pal.
  5. Moderation is key.  You can indulge in your favorite holiday treats, but keep it under control.  If there is a sit down dinner, avoid appetizers and simply limit your portion sizes. Choose your favorite foods or things you rarely get to eat and skip “everyday foods” such as bread, corn, etc. that you can eat any day of the week.
  6. Get enough sleep. Holidays can be a stressful time with work parties, family gatherings, and other functions.  This extra stress can have serious affects on your sleep habits.  Little sleep may help contribute to weight gain, so aim for 7-8 hours per night.