Fearful of Holiday Weight Gain?

Holiday Weight Gain Fear

Fearful of Holiday Weight Gain?

The holidays are fast approaching! We are one month from Christmas, which means holiday parties are already scheduled and you know (without doubt) that there will be tempting treats and large scrumptious meals to enjoy together with your family and friends.  But does the joy of the season quickly become shadowed with prevailing anxiety that your overindulgence will lead to subsequent weight gain?

It is understandable that the holidays may be a daunting time to stick to a ‘diet plan’; this may include avoiding excessive snacking and trying to fit exercise into your busy schedule. Interestingly, studies have shown that most people gain less weight then they think over the holidays. However, this ‘less than we think’ is still around 3-5 pounds over a 6 week span.

So, to help during this festive time of year, I have come up with my Top 7 Ways to avoid holiday weight gain.

Here are my Top 7 Ways to avoid holiday weight gain! Click To Tweet

Holiday dinner party

1. Never go to a holiday party hungry! 

A trick for healthy weight management is to eat at regular intervals (every 4-6 hours) so that you do not get to the point of starvation where you are willing to eat everything and anything! At the point of starvation it is virtually impossible to be in control of your eating. TIP: Have a piece fruit or 5 crackers before a party to give yourself some energy (from the carbohydrates) and avoid drops in your blood sugar leading to ravenous eating.

2. Talk to your body: 

Now, I know this one sounds odd.  But it is important to be in touch with how your body is feeling by asking if you are hungry?  You can try a rating scale where 0 = starving and 10 = you are busting buttons.  Being in tune allows you to judge how much you should be eating to satisfy your hunger.

3. Stop before you are stuffed!  

This is probably the toughest one when the food is ‘oh so good!’  After you are a master at judging your hunger (your hunger rating skill) you will be able to determine when you are at a point of being satisfied (7 on your rating scale) and then stop eating.  This will prevent eating to the point of having to undo your top button.

4. Think 20% less:  

This is a trick from the genius Brian Wansink in Mindless Eating(2008).  Try serving yourself about 20% less than you think that you need.  This 20% margin is scientifically just under the human ‘radar’ where we are unable to notice the difference.  It also works the other way, where you can eat 20% more than you would normally and not notice it!


Beef dinner

5. Set your priorities: 

This is to help with fitting exercise in!  So make it a priority so that you do not push it to the backburner. Your health IS a priority!  If you are able to head to the gym for a quick workout or attend a morning yoga class before a holiday party this is a fantastic idea. Or how about a walk around the block with a friend or the family dog?

6. Do not leave serving dishes on the table: 

This is a vital one to prevent over-eating and does go against the ‘family style meal’. As soon as foods are within our vision we tend to think that we ‘need more’. However, we would have felt completely satisfied otherwise if the bowl of pasta was at least 6 feet away which allows for a delay in serving up more foods.

DYK You can still enjoy your favourite foods and manage your weight?! Click To Tweet

7. Be ‘nice to yourself’:  

Do not deprive yourself of your favourite foods and sweet treats. It is more a matter of staying mindful and in tune with your body. Be careful to not fall into an ‘all or nothing’ thinking pattern and enjoy foods in a controlled manner.

Enjoy the holiday and have a happy, healthy holiday season!