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Prevent Weight Gain This Holiday Season

The Holiday season is just around the corner, and we all know everybody is thinking about family gatherings, home-cooked food, staying warm, and cocktails. With all the fun the Holiday season brings, it also tends to bring bad habits that lead to weight gain. People on average, self-report that they gain 5-10 lbs during the Holiday season.

Taking a couple days off during the Holiday season can result in reducing the stress on your muscles, and aid in muscle recovery. Over consumption of home cooked meals during the Holiday season can result in receiving more nutrients in your body, which can lead to better muscle recovery. When individuals think they have gained weight, it lowers their self-esteem, and can cause them trouble adhering to an exercise program.

The stress and negative self-image can lead to long-term use of bad habits. Some individuals turn to stress eating, or over consumption of alcohol to cope with the stress. The cold weather results in individuals staying indoors, which results in a lack of activity. Worst of all, individuals start to drop out of their exercise programs because they have so many other plans going on, or because they do not want to deal with the cold weather. The combination of these bad habits over time will lead to weight gain. I am going to give you some tips to prevent these bad habits from occurring this Holiday season.

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Prevent Weight Gain

Tips to avoid weight gain include: smaller plates, eating slowly, drinking in moderation,staying within your diet, choosing healthy alternatives, eating earlier, exercising regularly, resting, planning ahead, and remembering your goals. Smaller plates.

Using a Smaller Plate

This sounds simple and maybe even a bit silly, but choosing to eat with smaller plates can result in consuming less calories. Many individuals have the mentality they need to finish everything on their plate, or fill their plate completely with food when eating. By using a smaller plate an individual would not be consuming as much food as they would with a larger plate.

Eating Slowly

When you’re eating your taste buds are sensitive to the first couple of bites of something, but after that they’re used to the food you are consuming. You only need to eat a small portion of something to get the satisfaction of its taste, so over consumption will not result in more taste. Eating slowly will result in your body realizing it is full before you over consume during a meal.

prevent weight gain

Drinking in Moderation

There will be are plenty of parties going on this holiday season, which means there is plenty of alcohol around. Over consumption of alcohol results in more empty calories, and bad eating habits late into the night. I’m not saying don’t enjoy a few drinks during the Holidays. I am saying try to drink responsibly and in moderation. Do not drink too much alcohol too often because it can lead to quick weight gain, and a lot of bad decisions.

Staying within your diet

During the Holiday season many individuals eat outside of their diet. It is hard to eat within your diet with the different kinds of food present. It is alright to eat food you normally would not eat, but do not make it into a routine. Try to eat in moderation, when eating food you normally would not consume. Try to eat food types that relate to your diet, or are similar to the macronutrients and calories you normally consume.

Choosing Healthy Alternatives

When eating during the Holidays, try to choose the healthier alternative. There will be plenty of food to choose from, so try to choose the best option for your health. An example of this would be eating yogurt instead of ice cream, or eating wholemeal bread instead of white bread. Simple techniques such as not using butter while eating bread can go a long way. You can’t always eat the healthiest with the options you are given, but you can choose to make those options more healthy for you.

Eating Earlier

Eating early in the day can result in less weight gain because your body is still burning calories throughout the day, and you are still moving and doing things. Eating snacks late at night can lead to weight gain because you are no longer engaging in activity, and your body will have more trouble burning those calories during rest.

Exercise Regularly

This sounds like a no brainer, but it is often neglected during the Holiday season. During the Holidays, people often exercise less due to cold weather, family gatherings, and busy schedules. Make sure to engage in at least 30-60 minutes of exercise throughout the day. If it is hard to find time to engage in 30-60 minutes of exercise during the day, try splitting up the time in increments that fit into your schedule. Exercising regularly can result in reducing daily caloric intake.

the ultimate Christmas gift guide


The Holidays are a busy time of year. One of the most neglected habits during the Holidays is rest. People often do not take the time to rest. They are busy running errands all day, or spending time with family. Your body needs rest to function properly, so do yourself a favor and give it the rest it needs.

Planning Ahead

Planning ahead is never a bad idea. Planning ahead will prepare you for any stress that can come your way during the Holidays, and help you cope with it in a proper manner. Planning ahead will help you continue to reach your goals, and prevent bad habits from forming. Remembering your goals- Remembering your goals will lead to increased motivation, and will improve exercise adherence. Your goals will aid in getting through a tough day because you will remember everything you are working for.

Take Home Message

In conclusion, the Holiday season can result in forming many bad habits, but they do not have to lead to weight gain. Using the tips discussed in this article can help you prevent the weight gain that occurs due to bad habits formed during the Holidays. Enjoy your holiday season, and remember to stay healthy.



Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Yanovski, J. A. (2000). A prospective study of holiday weight gain. New England Journal of Medicine. 861-867.

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Cory Schwarth

Cory Schwarth

Writer and expert

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