July 17, 2024

Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Here’s some serious food for thought: Statistics show that on average we probably consume from 3,000 to 5,000 calories around the Thanksgiving table. But while eating often takes center stage during the holidays, that doesn’t mean we have to give up on good health.

Avoiding holiday weight gain IS possible. If you’re trying to reach your feel great weight, Thanksgiving can be a very stressful holiday. … Instead of embarking on a six-week food fest, take control of the day and jump-start your motivation for a healthy and active holiday season—one where you lose weight, not gain – all while enjoying some of your favorite holiday foods!

The key is setting up your strategy and sticking with it. Don’t give it all up until January when you will likely feel overwhelmed by those extra pounds and tired from all the holiday festivities.

Here are some tips:


Go easy on the calories the week before. The great thing about the holidays is you know exactly when they’re coming and you know the likely foods you will indulge in. So, begin to cut back on your calories the week before and set yourself up for a more enjoyable Turkey Day.


Instead of making the New Year the starting point of future fitness goals, consider it a marker for success. Maybe you have a favorite outfit you’d like to wear on New Year’s Eve – so consider this one of many effective motivators to keep you on track.


As mid-November rolls around, most of us go into running mode to get things done in time for the big day. This can lead to increased stress levels the in-turn cause more cortisol to be produced in our bodies and that can lead to weight gain. Take some time for a gym workout, yoga or even just a 10-minute daily meditation break to proactively release tension and anxiety.


Revamp your traditional favorites. Go heavy on the veggies and pick natural, unprocessed foods, prepared simply but tastily with herbs, spices, and fruits, such as lemon and orange. Throw out the canned cranberries and go fresh. Instead of overloading on carb-heavy stuffing soaked in turkey juices, opt for a quinoa or veggie mix. Those traditional green beans prepared in a cream based casserole are just as tasty steamed with olive oil, a bit of sea salt, and pepper!


If you don’t have time to hit the trail or gym, look for creative ways to work exercise into your everyday activities. Choose the farthest parking spot away from the store when holiday shopping. Bike to work and take the stairs whenever possible wherever you go. Even common household chores can burn calories


Make a 30-40-day plan for staying on track by putting in calendar form to set goals so you are not as likely to skip your workouts or fall off the healthy food wagon. Once on paper – we tend to focus on achieving our goals a bit more especially once the rushing around becomes a constant every day until early January.


Remember Thanksgiving Day is just one day! If you blow it, get right back on track and keep moving forward. It’s making excuses and rationalizations every single day afterward in the 40+ days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s that will cause you to gain the typical 3-7 holiday pounds. With the right mindset, your New Year’s resolution can be something useful and unique and you can drop lose weight from your list.