Your Holiday Weight Gain Survivial Guide: 17 Tips to Not Gain a Pound

after weight loss
Balance your eats with your exercise. Credit: D Sharon Pruitt

17 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

10. Stay balanced. Don’t fall into the cycle of gorging then restricting. Eat the same meals and small snacks you always do, especially breakfast. Adjust for heavier meals by paring down the next ones, but don’t skip them completely. It’s a recipe for weight gain, causing you to overeat while stalling your metabolism.

11. Ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” If it’s your Aunt Mae’s famous Christmas morning cinnamon rolls, then yes, it might be. But if it’s half of a decapitated gingerbread man you found in the break room, the answer is no.

12. Claim allergies. The easiest way to shoo away unwanted treats from an acquaintance or someone you will never see again is to claim you are allergic. You don’t even have to think up something you are specifically allergic to—”No thanks, I’m allergic,” is all you need to say to get them to kick rocks.

Why not play a little flag football after that big meal? Credit: SIUE Campus Recreation

13. Make your holiday traditions active ones. Play a game of touch football before Thanksgiving dinner. Hike out in to the woods to chop down your own Christmas tree. Spend an afternoon walking through your neighborhood to sing carols to your neighbors. Invite your whole family to play a game called “shoveling snow.” Your kids will love it.

14. Kick up the exercise. Even if you aren’t TOO concerned with significant holiday weight gain, you know you are definitely going to indulge more around this time of year, so step it up a notch. Do an extra 10 minutes, one mile or add a day to your workout schedule to keep everything in check.

15. Work out in the morning. With everyone out of school, off work, visiting and traveling, your days are going to be unpredictable. Working out in the morning ensures it gets done, plus you’ll have lasting energy to dominate those Black Friday crowds.

Why not train for a and complete a holiday 5K? Credit: planmyplay

16. Take advantage of holiday workout deals. With much of the year’s weight gain happening over the holidays and everyone’s New Year’s Resolution being to lose weight, gyms and studios offer screaming deals on workouts. Take this time to try something new—a Spin class, a barre class or Zumba—and bring a friend to give them the gift of fitness.

17. Don’t put your fitness goals on hold. If you are working toward a goal, like training for a race or to lose a certain amount of weight per month, don’t put those goals on the back burner until the holiday season is over. Having something to focus on will keep you on track instead of letting you fall into the free-for-all of not exercising and eating whatever you can fit into your mouth that most fall victim to. Maintain your training schedule, hold yourself accountable to lose the same amount of weight you would no matter what the calendar says and never slack off. The holidays aren’t a timeout.

You can do this. You’ve had the training and you are ready. Prepare, plan, keep your eye on the prize, and you can emerge from the holiday season unscathed. —Kelly


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  1. Good advice Kelly. This year I’m all about healthy holiday meal makeovers. For example, server celery root puree instead of mashed potatoes. Raw celery root has only 8 grams of carbs per cup versus 24 grams of carbs per cup for raw potatoes. That’s a DRASTIC savings! Plus, celery root has way more nutrition than potatoes and it tastes YUMMY.

    Happy, Healthy Holidays to All My FBG Sistahs:)!

  2. I like your suggestions. But there is one I do not agree with. Number 6 says to regift that fruitcake that you do not want yet number 5 says not to give things to others that you don’t want. I think the fruitcake could be tossed unless you know the person would really enjoy it.

  3. These are all great suggestions but I find number 2 requires maximum discipline.It aint easy to simply say no when caught up in the moment.How many would sincerely turn down a bowl of hot chips at a close friend’s party, for example? I’m sure very few.

  4. Such great advice! Holidays are always such a difficult and tempting time when you are trying to loose weight! Even though I am from the UK, I still have the same problems around Christmas time! This advice is really helpful and I will definitely try and use it on Christmas day!