Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

On average, Americans gain at least 1 pound between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Here are 10 tips to celebrate this holiday season and not tip that scale!

By: Caroline Mathis RD/LD

1) Pass on the holiday drinks

It’s the holidays…as Starbucks says, “it only happens once a year.”  Skip that peppermint white               chocolate mocha with whipped cream, which has 410 calories and 15 grams of fat for 12 oz.  If you must have that fancy coffee drink in that fun read cup, go with a tall non-fat pumpkin spice later and save 190 calories and 15 grams of fat.  Remember, enjoy in moderation.


This is the most effective way to sustain or even lose weight.  Walk all the way around the mall.  Walk to the nearest park or shopping center instead of driving, and take your pooch with you!  Make it a point to go to the wellness center and see your trainer.

3) Relax

It’s proven, when you are stressed, you eat more!  So instead of turning to mom’s mac ‘n cheese, turn to your IPOD.  Get out and about.  Exercise will lower your stress level and boost energy levels.  Grab a yoga class or take 5 minutes to meditate.  Regain you focus and enjoy this amazing time of year.

4) Fruit cakes, cookies, and dips, oh my!

Let’s be honest, you will eat things your dietitian might not approve of.  Set up a contract with yourself.  For every dessert, you must do 30 minutes of physical activity.  This does not justify eating foods full of fat, calories, and trans fat.

5) Remember, 5 a day

5 fruit and veggie servings a day will help fill you up, but it won’t break the bank on calories.  Not to mention, you are preventing numerous diseases.

6) Never go to a party hungry

This is the cardinal rule of holiday dieting.  Always eat 1 cup of broth based soup or another low calorie snack before you head out the door.

7) Plan ahead, you bring the fruit salad

Take the initiative here, you bring the low cal treat that everyone can enjoy!

8) You can say NO…but politely

You don’t have to “try” everything that is offered to you!  “Everything was delicious.  I just can’t eat another bite, but it looks amazing.”

9)    Focus…you are there to socialize

Don’t stand by the buffet table!  Move away from the food and closer to the party!  If you stand by appetizers, you will eat them.  Remove yourself from the situation.

10) Think high protein or high fiber foods instead of high sugar

Lean protein or foods high in fiber will satisfy hunger longer than those sugar cookies.


You have worked hard to reach your goals.  Stay focused this holiday season and start 2012 off right!

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Disclaimer: Please note that there's no guarantee of getting the same results as each of these patients. Specific results vary by individual patient.