Just say ‘No’ to Holiday Weight Gain!

Many people struggle with holiday weight gain each November and December. It seems our New Year’s resolution always includes losing the weight we gained from Thanksgiving through Christmas or even New Years.

Fortunately, you’ll be able to enjoy the parties and dinners and still avoid the typical holiday weight problem. And you don’t have to give up the foods you love!

  1. Don’t skip meals entirely, especially breakfast.
  2. Eat something high in protein with breakfast each day: cottage cheese, string cheese, protein shake, or deli lunch meats.
  3. Weigh yourself every day. If you’ve gained more than 3 pounds, cut the calories for the next day or two.
  4. Try to fit in some exercise each day, even if it’s just a 10 minute walk after meals.
  5. Lunches (or any non-celebration meal during this time of year) should mainly be salads, fruits and whole grains. Ask for salad dressing on the side and use only about half the dressing.
  6. Do not go out for last minute fast food or pizza runs because you are busy. Try to prepare all meals at home that are not planned holiday festivities. Simple meals of salads, soups, or sandwiches are good to offset the high-calories days anyway.
  7. No more calories after 8 p.m.
  8. Only 2 servings (about 400 calories total) of desserts or treats per day. Examples include 2 ounces of chocolate, about 1/8 of a 10″ pie, 2 small scoops of ice cream, 4 small or 2 large cookies.
  9. Plan light meals the day before and after your holiday parties.
  10. For parties: Do not go to parties hungry, especially late starting parties. Eat a small protein packed snack like string cheese, cottage cheese, deli ham or turkey, or a little peanut butter.
  11. For restaurant dinners: check their website for nutrition information and plan your food choices ahead of time. And don’t order desserts at most of these meals – there will be plenty at your other holiday events.
  12. For buffets: Check out the entire food offerings before picking up a plate. Take very small portions of each item. Half your plate should be vegetables or fruits. No seconds! Again, limit the desserts – they’re usually not near as good as those offered at your family or catered activities.
  13. For cocktail parties: Take one small plate of snacks then move away from the food tables. Again, no seconds. Also, limit alcohol, which is often very high in calories.
  14. For family dinners: This is what you’ve been saving calories for. Overeating at a couple of family dinners should not be a problem. Family dinners usually have the best food, the best company, and the best desserts. Enjoy!

Following these holiday tips should help you avoid that dreaded weight gain between Thanksgiving and Christmas and often on to New Years. If your New Years resolution includes losing weight, don’t wait until then to get started. Get started right now and you’ll feel and look better by New Years Day.

Find tips for losing weight the rest of the year at