Avoiding Weight Gain Over the Holidays

Weight gain is about as common over the holidays as Christmas music and shopping. It happens to nearly everyone and so avoiding it sometimes seems futile. But there are a few fairly easy ways to help prevent holiday weight gain.

Tip #1: Don’t Eat

If you don’t eat over the holidays, you certainly won’t gain weight. Obviously, this is not a practical suggestion. There’s going to be Grandma’s pumpkin pies, there’s going to be Christmas ham. Being glutinous over the holidays is just part of our culture. But just because you’re eating fatty foods like mashed potatoes with gravy and pie for dessert doesn’t necessarily mean you need to gain weight. Enjoy all of the usual holiday fare just in smaller portions. Eat slowly. Listen to your stomach. When it’s starting to ring out, “I’m full!” Stop eating! Holiday weight gain is more a product of eating too much than it is what we eat, so eat less!

Tip #2: Squeeze in workouts

I know working out while visiting family and friends can seem like an impossible task, but it’s really not. Pack workout clothes and make your way to a treadmill. They are everywhere. If you’re visiting family out of town, inquire about a local gym that might accommodate a one-day pass. If you can squeeze just 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise in on the morning prior to a big family gathering, your metabolism will be on your side when the gravy dish is being passed around. If you simply do not have the time to get to a gym over the holidays, do 20 push-ups and 20 sit-ups a few times throughout the day. You can even do it on bathroom visits; no one will know. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to do 20 push-ups and 20 sit-ups. The result will be great for helping digest that holiday ham.

Tip #3: Skip meals

Ideally, you should eat several small meals throughout the day. Since this is just not practical around holiday plans, do the exact opposite! Enjoy the big family feast, eat your heart out, but eat nothing else the rest of the day. You won’t be doing yourself any favors by eating a nice big breakfast followed by snacking throughout the day before chowing down on a big Thanksgiving dinner.

Tip #4: Avoid leftovers

Maintain a firm “no leftovers” policy over the holidays. That means no eating leftovers, no allowing Grandma to pack a ton of them for you to take home, nothing. Treat leftovers like the plague and you’ll distance yourself from the temptation to make the “big holiday meal” into the “big holiday meals”.