8 Ways to Control Weight Gain Over the Holidays

Melanie Thomassian Health Pro
  • Have you been tracking your weight and exercising now for weeks on end? But, now the very thought of Christmas sends a shiver down your spine - food, drinks, and lack of exercise - how will you survive?


    If you've been working hard on creating a new healthy lifestyle for yourself, now is not the time to throw in the towel!


    Unlike other food-centred occasions, such as birthdays or valentines, the winter holiday season lasts for weeks, with parties, holiday cookies, and food gifts being all the rage! It's enough to pile pounds on even the most serious dieter!

    So, what can you do to avoid the infamous holiday weight gain? Simple answer: stick with your plan. Choose to stay in control. And take it one day at a time.

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    Here are 8 tips to help you stay in control over the holidays:

    #1 Record what you eat
    Researchers have found that when people are asked to keep an eye on what they eat, they almost always begin to lose weight - even if they didn't intend to slim.


    So, keeping a record of all food and drinks over the next few weeks could really help you avoid weight gain, and help you eat healthier as well.

    #2 Plan your meals
    Try to plan your meals and snacks ahead of time throughout the holiday season.


    So, for example if you had an office party later in the evening, eat regularly throughout the day, but cut back on calories by perhaps having a salad for lunch. This way you won't arrive at the party completely famished, but you'll still have a few extra calories for the foods you enjoy.


    Also, don't eat simply because food is presented to you, and don't waste calories on food you don't really enjoy.


    #3 Focus on healthy portion sizes
    It is possible to eat your favourite foods and still lose weight - you just need to keep your portion size in check.


    So, at the dinner table fill half of your plate with vegetables or salad, then allow one quarter for meat, and one quarter for carbohydrate foods. A fruit based appetizer or dessert will ensure the meal is well balanced.


    #4 Eat slowly
    By taking time to savour your food you'll feel much more satisfied at the end. Eating slowly also gives your stomach time to signal that it's full, therefore helping to prevent overeating.

    #5 Limit your alcohol intake
    Alcohol can be very high in calories, so try to limit your intake, drink plenty of water between drinks, and add diet tonics or soft drinks as mixers.

    #6 Carry healthy snacks
    Keep a ready supply of healthy snacks on hand when you're at the office or away from home. This will help to satisfy any cravings, and keep your energy levels up. Easy to transport snacks include fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.


    #7 Be positive
    If you slip-up a little, don't worry about - try to get back on track as soon as possible. Remember, a negative attitude is self-destructive, and tomorrow is a new day!


    #8 Make fitness your priority
    Healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand, so don't neglect to make time for exercise over the holidays. This will help you burn a few extra calories, and will help to maintain your focus.


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    If you're particularly busy, I'd suggest scheduling your workout as you would with any other appointment. Add your weekly workouts to a calendar so that other commitments don't take over.


    How do you stay in control over the holiday season?


    Be sure to check out our holiday eating quiz, too!


    Are you struggling to find effective weight loss help? Visit Dietriffic.com for reliable healthy eating ideas, authored by registered dietitian Melanie Thomassian. Also, don't forget to grab your free ebook on how to break bad habits.


Published On: December 15, 2008