prevent holiday weight gain

Posted on November 1, 2011


With the holidays just around the corner (YAY!), overeating and indulgence usually comes to mind. There’s an abundance of food, candy, treats,  holiday parties, etc. for the next 2 months. It can be really hard to eat healthy throughout the holidays because of all the temptations around us. Now, I certainly don’t condone avoiding holiday fun, and I definitely enjoy my favorite holiday treats. I just try to make sure not to let my enjoyment get out of control, which is one of the keys to avoiding the dreaded holiday weight gain.

It can easily happen: “I already ate a cookie & brownie at work, so I might as well have cake at dinner.” or “I’ve already missed two workouts this week; why not miss today’s, too…”

 source: Stuart Miles from

Well, start a new holiday tradition of enjoying what you love about the holidays but not letting it get out of hand. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Plan ahead.
    • This might be the best tip to remember and not just in the holiday season.
    • Before you start each day, plan to eat healthy and exercise. Plan what you will eat for the day, and schedule when you will exercise that day. Make sure you set yourself up to succeed!
    • If you know you’re going to be tempted by things, make sure you work them in your schedule.
    • Plan to enjoy a small treat a couple of times a week (or one larger treat per week).
  • Don’t dwell on your past failures.
    • So you ate 3 cookies at lunch… quit worrying about it! Constantly thinking about what you’ve done wrong can lead you to continue to make poor choices.
    • Be careful not to have the mentality that you’ve already messed up so why not just keep going. You can turn around your mistake right now! Don’t wait until tomorrow or Monday to “be good” again; go back to making better choices at your next meal or snack.
  • Stay positive.
    • Avoid self-criticism or thinking that you won’t be able to eat healthy during the holiday season. You can do it, especially if you plan ahead.
  • Write in a food journal.
    • Knowing that you’re going to have to write down everything that you eat or drink that day might make you think twice before eating the extra cupcake or handful of candy.
    • A food journal can also help you see what time of day, situation, or atmosphere causes you to overeat or make unhealthy choices.
    • You don’t need to write in a food journal everyday unless you want. A couple of days is all it takes to notice your typical food trends and problem areas.
  • Offer yourself a reward.
    • Treating yourself to a non-food reward can help increase your success.
    • By giving yourself an incentive to make healthy choices and exercise, you will be more likely to succeed.
  • Write down your accomplishments.
    • Make notes of the times that you flexed your will power!
    • Remember the day you didn’t eat the extra cake bite at the party or the time you exercised even with a busy schedule. Reviewing your successes can remind you that you do have will power and you are able to make healthy choices even in times of temptation.
  • Think about the future.
    • Do you really want to make your New Year’s Resolution – lose the 6 pounds I gained over the holidays?
    • Remember what you will have to do to undo the damage you make in making multiple poor choices.
    • Think about your future health before you continue on your downward spiral of making unhealthy choices.

There’s no use in trying to avoid everything; enjoy the holiday season! Just make sure you eat & drink what you really love and not just because it’s in front of you. Oh, and don’t forget to fit in some exercise (try to get 150 minutes per week).

I know that some of these are a little cheesy, but try them. They just might work for you!

P.S. Only 23 more days until Thanksgiving!