Nutrition Notes: Survive the Holidays Without the Weight Gain

by Jenna Olson, RD, Nutrition & Wellness Educator

Holiday waistlines have a habit of growing in size over the cooler months. The season of weight gain generally starts with Halloween, followed by Thanksgiving feasts and continues through the December holidays to New Year’s. According to the National Institute of Health, the average American gains about one to two pounds of weight during the holidays. Although this may not seem like a lot, this weight gain builds up after a couple of years. So this year, try to incorporate a few of these tips to help you enjoy some of your holiday favorites without sabotaging your waistline.

1. Make sure to stay hydrated. Before heading out to a holiday party, try drinking a full 8-ounce glass of water accompanied by a piece of fresh fruit or a vegetable snack. This way you don’t arrive thirsty or hungry and head straight for the appetizer table.

2. Switch up your favorites. If you can’t live without gravy on your mashed potatoes or a slice of pumpkin cheesecake, try substituting ingredients during the cooking process to decrease the calorie content.

3. Fill your plate only once. Although holiday gatherings often consist of food and treats, try to only visit the buffet line once. When you are filling up your plate, aim to fill up on fruits and vegetables.

4. Keep moving. Incorporate some sort of exercise into your holiday routines. Consider taking a walk with family or friends to observe neighborhood holiday decorations.

How are you balancing your holiday food fun? Hopefully, a few of these holiday tips can help you feel armed and ready for all of the festivities that come before New Year’s. Sending best wishes to you and yours during the holiday season.