13 Ways To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Do you have a plan in place to stay on track during the Holidays?

For many of us, the holiday season means spending time with friends and family.

Often celebrations center around food. Because stress can be a factor at this time of the year, overeating is tempting and even comforting. But overeating can also lead to regret when January rolls around.

Do you want to enjoy the holidays and maintain your weight? Listed below are 13 Tips that can help keep you on track so you don’t panic during holiday festivities:

  1. Start your holiday with a plan to work out or walk for at least 60 minutes per day. The goal is to burn enough calories to have “calorie credits” to draw from during the evening or the party festivities. You can reach your exercise goal by parking further away from the entrance when shopping or at work so you’ll have to take more steps. Instead of the elevator use the stairs.
  2. Avoid taking shortcuts when preparing your meals. Using readymade products can increase your chances of eating too many unhealthy preservatives. Preservatives are high in salt and calories.
  3. Try hosting your own holiday gathering so you’ll have more control over your food choices. If your guests offer to bring something, suggest they bring drinks, fruit, a veggie tray or even flowers.
  4. If you’re unaware of the menu, don’t panic! To be safe, bring a healthy dish you’re comfortable eating as a gift to the hostess. That way you’re not forced to eat off your diet plan.
  5. Make sure that when you’re eating turkey, be aware of stuffing and gravy that contains fat. When cooking brisket, use corn or potato starch instead of flour to thicken the gravy.
  6. Cooking bags may keep the meat moist but instead of using flour in your bag to keep it from exploding, try using cornstarch, which has been known to work the same way.
  7. When preparing your desserts or cornbread, avoid using boxed mixes. Surprisingly, cornbread and most cakes are very quick and simple to bake when going by the traditional homemade recipe.
  8. Be cautious of dishes with a cream base.
  9. Before your meal, to help digestion, drink 1-2 glasses of water with fresh squeezed lemon juice.
  10. Remember portion control. Use your fist to estimate the appropriate portion size. Eating an extra serving of vegetables is a great way to feel satisfied without overeating.
  11. If you’re a guest, decline taking leftovers home with you. 
  12. Never sit for extended periods immediately following a meal. Walking will help with digestion.
  13. Eat something at home before going out. By eating at home, you won’t overeat due to hunger.

Overall, remember to enjoy the holidays and focus on spending time with your loved ones. Remember, the meal doesn’t make the holiday; it’s about creating memories and being grateful for what you have.

Dr. Donald Henderson is Medical Director of Encore Wellness & Weight Loss and has a private practice specializing in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine in Los Angeles, CA.

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I learned that I had to not only change my diet but my way of thinking. For the first time in a long time, I am very happy and confident to see myself in the mirror. I no longer run and hide from the camera, and the best part of all is being able to fit into all my old jeans and seeing everyone’s reactions to my weight loss! Now you couldn't pay me to eat junk food. If I can do it, anybody can!

Andrea