How to Indulge and Not Gain Weight This Holiday Season

The holiday season means one thing to a lot of people: food. Starting with Thanksgiving dinner and ending with the New Year's appetizer party, some can lose their willpower when faced with the delicious treats that are in abundance this time of year.

Studies show the average person gains one pound between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This may not seem like a lot but, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, most people do not lose the weight they put on during the holidays. After several seasons, this can add up.

Here are some ways to avoid the threat of the office buffet, cookie exchange and Christmas party open bar.

More: Active Cookbook: 9 Best Low-Calorie Recipes

It's a Holi-DAY not a Holi-week or Holi-month

Thanksgiving is only one day. Christmas is only one day. And, New Year's is only one day. Try not to get in the mindset that this is the time to "let go" and you'll fix it in January. This often leads to overeating and lack of control. Allow yourself to take a day off on the actual holidays; give yourself something to look forward to and enjoy. But, the rest of the time, hold fast to your goals and just say no!

More: 10 Strategies to Prevent the Holiday Bulge

Keep Moving

To maintain or lose weight, one of the most effective tools is regular exercise. During the holiday season, kick up your workouts to burn extra calories (Remember the sugar cookie you had at work?). If you normally run for 30 minutes, up it to 45. If you work out three days a week, try five for the month of December. Or, prepare for the holiday party by attending spin class instead of walking on the treadmill. It can even be as simple as walking on your lunch break or taking the stairs. Just be active.

More: An Interval Training Workout to Boost Your Metabolism

Fight Stress and Overeating with Color

Emily Edison, founder and owner of Momentum Health in Seattle, suggests adding red peppers, greens, blueberries or cranberries to flavor dishes, increase fiber to fill you up and supply antioxidants, which help reduce the effects of holiday stress.

More: 8 Places Your Antioxidants Are Hiding

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About the Author

Suzanne Corey

Suzanne Corey is a journalist and athlete. She competes in events around the country, including a marathon in Hawaii, a sprint triathlon in California, a rockin' half-marathon in Tennessee, and a century ride through Vermont and New Hampshire. When she's not training, Suzanne is raising two daughters and dreaming of a half-ironman. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Suzanne Corey is a journalist and athlete. She competes in events around the country, including a marathon in Hawaii, a sprint triathlon in California, a rockin' half-marathon in Tennessee, and a century ride through Vermont and New Hampshire. When she's not training, Suzanne is raising two daughters and dreaming of a half-ironman. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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