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10 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Dec 13, 2023
10 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
Holiday parties and gatherings present unique challenges for people trying to watch their weight. These tips help you celebrate without adding on extra pounds. Read on to learn more.

The holidays are a time to celebrate and a time of parties and delicious holiday foods. Unfortunately, for many people, culinary temptations frequently lead to weight gain, along with increased risks of weight-related health problems.

At Health Meets Wellness, our team offers patient-centered weight management therapy to help people in the Midtown East neighborhood of New York City achieve and maintain their weight goals, even in the face of holiday temptations. In this post, learn 10 simple ways to navigate this holiday season without sabotaging your weight goals.

1. Plan ahead

Party in the evening? Plan out your meals and snacks ahead of time and leave “room” for a few extra indulgences when you’re out. Don’t skip meals before a big event since you might end up overeating and filling up on high-calorie foods during your event. Finally, if you’re going to a restaurant, check out the menu online ahead of time to scope out the healthier options.

2. Skip (or limit) alcohol

Alcohol is a high-calorie indulgence. Opt for water, herbal teas, or fruit-infused club soda or seltzer instead. If you want to drink, limit yourself to a single drink.

3. Drink plenty of water

Speaking of drinking, keep a water bottle on hand and stay hydrated. Sometimes, mild dehydration can feel like hunger, causing you to reach for snacks when all you really need is some water to refresh you and quell your hunger feelings.

4. Bring a dish (or two)

Potlucks are a great way to show off your healthy cooking skills and ensure there’s a dish you can eat without feeling guilty. Rely on a trusted recipe or use the internet to search for something new and festive.

5. Watch portion size

Portion sizes have increased steadily over the years, making it easier to consume too many calories unintentionally. Try using a smaller plate to “trick” your mind into eating less, and study up on these recommended portion sizes to cut back on excess calories.

6. Practice mindful eating

Especially during the busy holiday season, it’s easy to find yourself snacking more or doubling down on servings at meals. The best way to counteract mindless eating is with mindful eating — being aware of every bite you take so it’s easier to tell when you’re full.

7. Work the buffet

Buffets are common at holiday times, and with all those delicious foods spread out before you, it can be challenging not to overindulge. Before filling your plate, take some time to review all the dishes available so you can pick healthy dishes, prioritizing vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. 

8. Stay active

The holidays are a busy time of the year, but that doesn’t mean cutting back on other activities is okay. In fact, taking a daily walk or working out to online videos can help maintain your weight while reducing some of that holiday stress at the same time.

9. Learn stress management techniques

Stress releases hormones that increase your appetite and your feelings of hunger. The desire for “comfort foods” can drive stress eating, too. Short-circuit those responses by practicing deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. Or, just make an effort to set aside time to unwind and engage in an activity you really enjoy.

10. Indulge wisely

It’s the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you must be a total Scrooge. In fact, completely avoiding every holiday treat that comes your way can lead to bingeing later, not to mention the effect it can have on your mood. Instead, enjoy some of your favorite holiday treats, but do so in moderation. That way, you feel satisfied without feeling guilty.

Watching your weight during the holidays doesn’t mean missing out on the fun and celebration. Making a few simple adjustments can help you keep your weight on track while still enjoying time with friends and family.

To learn how we can help you achieve and maintain your weight goals, call 934-203-8941 or request an appointment online with the team at Health Meets Wellness today.