How to prevent Holiday Weight Gain

The holiday season is full of temptations not usually found any other time of the year.  Because of this, most Americans will gain an average of five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years.  So how can you avoid the weight gain trap?

Here are some simple suggestions that might help:

  1. Ask yourself, “On a scale of 1-10 (1 being not important and 10 being extremely important) how important is it to me that I not gain weight?” Let’s say you say “5”.  Why didn’t you say “3”?  What would it take for it to be a “9 or a 10”? The more importance you put on not gaining weight the easier it will be to stay in control.
  2. No people pleasing. Do not eat as an obligation to others, even if they have cooked your favorite dish.  Make sure you make your own decisions—you are the one who will have to live with the consequences.
  3. Be mindful when eating. Take your time to allow yourself to taste your food. Put your fork down between bites and chew each mouthful thoroughly.
  4. Practice visualization techniques. Visualize eating healthy at your holiday meal/party and practice polite ways to decline food offerings.
  5. Offer to bring a healthy item to your holiday gathering. A platter of raw vegetables as an appetizer or a bowl of fresh fruit for dessert is appreciated by everyone.
  6. Always look at a buffet table ahead of time to allow yourself to make the wisest choices.
  7. No skipping meals. It’s okay to eat a little less at breakfast or lunch if you have a holiday event later that day but skipping a meal only sets you up for overeating later.
  8. Commit to daily activity. 15-30 minutes of activity is easy to do if you schedule it in.  Wake up a bit earlier or take advantage of breaks at work to get in 10 minute doses.
  9. Remember that Thanksgiving and Christmas are single days.  Try to limit any indulgences to those occasions only. This means give away the leftovers to guests or local organizations such as soup kitchens and food pantries.  Another thought is to offer some items to the fire or police department.  They work 24/7 and not worrying about cooking is always greatly appreciated.

And finally, if you do overindulge get back on track at your next meal.  Lapses are a normal event during the holiday season.  No one is perfect.  Your reaction to your lapse is far more important than the actual event.  So practice self-forgiveness and re-commit to doing your best.

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Patty Walker RD LD CDE CLT

Patty is proud to serve her community’s nutritional needs for over 35 years.  WIth deep knowledge in nutrition for diabetes as well as passion for plant-based diets, Patty supplies nutritional keys to unlock health by getting to the root of disease and helping others set a course for optimizing health. In addition to coaching individual clients and teaching classes, Patty provides education seminars to local businesses, writes monthly nutrition articles, is a key educator for the Lions Club’s Diabetes-Reduction Initiative and hosts “Nutritional Wisdom” cable show on WCTV. The goal is to reach as many people in my community that I possibly can with the truth about the power of nutrition and healthy living.

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