How to Prevent Weight Gain During the Holidays

How to prevent weight gain during the holidays.  It takes more than wishing. Nothing is as effective in helping you stay on track with weight loss, as having a plan.

With any weight loss you need a goal. It is not helpful to be vague, but rather know exactly what you want to achieve.

Your motivation will help you be successful. It helps to take small realistic steps. Some people find it helpful to post it on social media, while others would find that would be too intrusive for them.

11 Ways to Prevent Weight Gain During the Holidays

Include Fiber in Your Diet

Fill up on high fiber foods which are naturally low in calories, and help you feel full without adding extra weight. Fruit and vegetables are great ways to include fiber in your diet.

Healthy Holiday Foods to Include

So it is time to prepare your holiday menu. What healthy holiday foods can you include? Usually, we think of sweet and buttery main courses and desserts. The key is to include foods that are high in nutrients and low in unhealthy fats and sugars.

Dates are a natural sweetener. Sweet potatoes are full of nutrients as long as they exclude butter, sugars, and marshmallows.

Olives have healthy fat, and pickled veggies are a good choice. Broccoli, cauliflower, and winter squash are all healthy alternatives.

Go for the Healthy Stuff

While you are at an event you can fill your plate with the things that are healthy. Go lightly and avoid cheese, crackers, potatoes, and gravy. Consciously make healthy choices at the buffet table.

Put your food on a small plate, then walk away from the buffet table. Spend time enjoying conversation and refuse second helpings.

Eat Mindfully

Take some time to observe your plate before you eat. Be aware of food colors, textures, and tastes. Take in your surroundings and the aromas of the food. Enjoy what is before you. Chew slowly and thoroughly before swallowing.

Snack Before the Event

Don’t go to the event hungry. What? That may sound counter-intuitive!

Eat something healthy before the event so you are not famished when you arrive. It will help you have more self-control and give you more food restraint.

Think Portion Control

Prevent overeating by taking sample-size servings. Take a tablespoon or less of each holiday favorite and skip the everyday fare.

Desserts can be sample-sized as well. You will be surprised how satisfied you will be without going overboard in your eating.

Stay Hydrated – With H2O, Sparkling Water, or Club Soda

Alcohol, soda, and other beverages abound around holiday time. They are laden with unnecessary calories. Your body still needs fluid, so stick to water, or second-best is sparkling water or club soda.

Plan Ahead – Bring a Healthy Dish to Share

Planning goes a long way if you want to prevent holiday weight gain.

There may be several events for you to attend. Be calorie-conscious. Ask the hostess if you can bring something.

Prepare a healthy version. Avoid quick and easy processed foods which often contain excess sugar and unhealthy fats.

Whole foods are a healthier option. Using skim milk instead of whole milk, yogurt, and non-fat evaporated milk can all be guilt-free ways of enjoying delicious holiday foods.

Weigh Yourself Once or Twice Each Week

Remind yourself of your weight, so you can act before it becomes a big problem. You know the saying, “Once it parts the lips, forever on the hips.”

A smart scale helps you learn much about yourself. It measures 13 essential body measurements. Easy set up with Fitbit App or Google Fit.

Monitor your progress and help motivate you toward your goals.

It is harder to get rid of the excess weight than it is to put it on. Studies suggest that those who weigh themselves regularly maintain or lose weight better than those who do not.

Don’t Forget to Exercise

There are many ways to get exercise during the holidays. After the meal, instead of lounging in the living room, plan an outing. Getting outside for a walk will help your meal settle.

Ice skating, sports, and lawn work would all burn calories and help release endorphins to keep you in good spirits! Make exercise a family custom at holiday time.

Get Back on Track

Don’t punish yourself if you get off track one day. Set limits for yourself.

It is easy to say, “I’ll start tomorrow.” You need to say “no” to those foods which do not align themselves with your goals.

Remember weight loss begins with setting reasonable goals and a reasonable time frame to work with.

Do you have friends to help you be accountable? A little friendly competition can help you both stay focused on your goal.


According to Calorie Control Council a typical holiday dinner can be as much as 3,000 calories, and another 1,500 calories nibbling on chips, dips, appetizers, and drinks. That could be a whopping 229 grams of fat, equal to 3 sticks of butter. That does not include breakfast or an evening meal.

You can stay on track by watching your calories. Check out your food items and adjust your holiday plate to reflect the calories you want to consume.

In Conclusion

It can feel daunting to keep on top of your weight during the holiday season. If you make reasonable goals and have friends to help you stay accountable, it will make it easier.

Eat mindfully, include fiber in your meal, and remember portion control. Don’t go to the event hungry, and when possible take a healthy dish along to share. Don’t forget to drink water to stay hydrated. Weigh yourself once or twice a week, and keep exercising.

You will stay on track, and if you fail one day, just get up the next day and start over. You can do it!

Please Leave a Comment

I would love to hear from you. Do you have trouble gaining weight over the holidays? What tricks can you share that help you get through the holidays and your clothes still fit just fine?

Disclaimer: If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. No content on this site should be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified healthcare practitioner. The information contained here is for informational purposes only. It is from my research and personal experience.

6 thoughts on “How to Prevent Weight Gain During the Holidays”

  1. The holidays are really loaded with lots of temptations with respect to eating. During the holidays, I seem to suddenly have cravings for snacks and junk foods I have been avoiding, simply because I now have the time and freedom to get them. Funny. Thanks for this guide. I will put what I have learned from this post to use and see how it works for me.

    • Thanks for stopping by with a comment! Holiday time is a warm cozy time of the year, and well-wishers love to share their baking or other goodies. Temptation is all around. This year, I hope to be good and put a stop to weight gain before it happens! LOL 

      To think of 3,000 calories all in one meal! That would take a while to lose. 

  2. Amazing article and it came at the right time seeing that Christmas is around the corner. I planned on taking a cheat day that day but I think I will follow your method. I will be sure to share this article with my gym friends. Thank you for this article. We do not have to take a cheat day now. 

    • Hi Daniel, thanks for stopping by with a comment. It helps to have a plan not to gain weight over the holidays. Having a cheat day is one way to work with it. Use a small plate, choose healthy options, chew slowly are some solutions. Weigh yourself and get back on track after the holidays all go a long way to keep yourself healthy. 

  3. I think your article came just in time for the holiday season! It is sooo easy to get all these calories and then so hard to loose them when New Year ends that it’s scary to even think about it. As you say planning ahead is the only way to go. Obviously you can loose the weight but let’s be honest, how many can loose all the holidays excess weight so easily as when gaining it. So better to be careful from the start.

    • There are 3,500 calories in one lb of body fat. That would mean lose 500 calories each day for a week to lose one lb of body fat!


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