How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Are you hoping to get through the holiday season without gaining that pound or two? Though it may not sound like much consider this: the entire obesity crisis could be avoided if we lost one pound per year instead of gaining it. That one pound gained per year eventually leads us to the 10 pounds we put on per decade. That weight is often acquired during the holidays. The trick is to either manage it wisely and/or drop it immediately in January. This way you can still, quite literally, have your cake and eat it to.

On the management end, here are three easy weight loss tips to prevent the problem:

  • Increase physical activity during the holiday week(s) by 15 minutes each day. A skipping rope does wonders. Really! Clear a space and skip for 5 minutes in the am. You will rev up your metabolism which will not only help you burn excess calories-it will also give you more energy. To skip properly, flick your wrists and keep your hands close to your hips. Hop on your toes and don’t let your heels touch the ground.
  • Drink more water to fill you up. Herbal tea is a great way to go, adding flavour, nutrients and warmth. Omit all liquid calories: no lattes with caramel or pop. That could cut 300-500 calories per day depending upon your current habit. Spend those on your extra holiday treats and you will be further ahead.
  • Eat more fiber to make you feel full and able to resist temptation. Try adding chia to breakfast, it can go in yogurt, on eggs or spread into peanut butter without even being noticed.

Your cheat sheet for eating at holiday sit down dinners:

  • Fill up on a plate of green vegetables, broth based soup or salad before you go to any party. Dialing down impulses is the best way to start.
  • Avoid the chips, nuts, sweets that are placed around for your fattening pleasure.  Position your body away from the tempting table.
  • Stand next to the veggies and dip that you brought yourself.
  • For full meals, fill your plate with protein and “un-fatted” vegetables first.
  • Truly enjoy only a tablespoon of the dangerous dudes:
    • Mashed squash
    • Mashed potatoes
    • Buttered carrots
    • Stuffing
    • Any “casserole” type dish
    • Gravy
    • Cheese sauce
    • Salad dressing


  • Wait an hour to be sure you actually want dessert then serve yourself a small piece rather than accepting what you are handed by the hostess.

The holidays “done right” will allow you to taste your way through some delicious fun without doing yourself in. The holidays “done wrong” will cause you to gain an extra couple of pounds to lose on top of the few you picked up and forgot about last year.

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Author: Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert is an on-camera food and health expert, nutritionist and writer who loves to spread the word on food. She is a Food Communications Specialist and Toronto Personal Nutritionist. Tweet with her at @theresaalbert & find her daily at

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