Simple Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

It’s that special time of year again, and everything seems to be piling up—the snow outside, the presents under your tree, and unfortunately the holiday weight. While recent studies tell us holiday weight gain is often exaggerated (most people gain just one pound between Thanksgiving and Christmas), that weight doesn’t go away. The news is even worse for people who are already overweight. One study published in the journal Nutrition Reviews found that overweight people gain five pounds or more during the holidays, and keep that weight for the rest of their lives.

Part of the problem is that the holidays don’t just represent one day or even a few days. They’re a period of several weeks in which most people set their diet aside and fill up their plates, all in the name of enjoying the season.

“I think the number of people who only overeat at the Thanksgiving meal is slim to none,” explains Holly Hull, lead researcher on a University of Oklahoma study that examined holiday weight gain in college students. “You have this period that extends through the New Year where there’s more alcohol, more finger foods, and appetizers that are energy dense.”

However, you don’t have to be part of the weight-gaining crowd—and you don’t have to decrease your holiday enjoyment either. Here are eight simple ways to avoid holiday weight gain and still make the best of the most wonderful time of the year.

1. Keep a Food Diary and Scale Handy

The first thing you need to do is keep yourself responsible. When you’re surrounded by temptations, it’s easy to pop one or two things into your mouth and forget about it. It’s also easy to pack away the bathroom scale until January.

Keeping a food diary will keep you honest and thoughtful about your food choices. Weighing yourself twice weekly will help you see the impact of your decisions. When you’re aware that weight gain is happening, it’s easier to prevent it.

2. Snack on Healthy Foods Before You Arrive at a Party

Never arrive at a holiday party hungry—it’s a recipe for December disaster. Instead, fill up onhealthy snacks beforehand and then it will be easier to ignore the buffet table.

You can even bring some low-calorie treats to share. That way, the rest of the energy-dense foods on the table won’t look as appetizing. And who knows, you may even be helping out other  who are watching their waistline this season.

3. Redirect Your Attention from Food

Remember, the holidays aren’t just about food…

Read More: Mike Jackson,

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