8 Ways To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

It has been a tough few years coping with the pandemic and many people, including myself, have found solace in food. Sometimes, unfortunately, this has meant indulging a little too often!

As we head into the holiday season - yikes! - I think it’s prudent to stop and think of ways we can enjoy holiday food without continuing to tip the scales.

If we get a game plan in place now, we can ramp it up in January with our New Year’s resolutions.

Let’s keep it simple, doable and fun.

Here are eight ways to avoid holiday weight gain.

1. Buy more fruits and veggies - and eat them.

bowl of green apples

If you’re hungry and find yourself scrounging around the kitchen looking for something to eat and all you have are carrots, apples, celery or even cherry tomatoes in your home, then you’ll eat them. Try putting a big bowl of colourful fruit in an obvious place as a reminder. Even better, place the bowl in front of the cupboard where the junk food is typically stored. Fruit and veggies fill us up, are loaded with fibre and the vitamins and are good for us. So, it’s a win-win-win solution.

2. Don’t buy junk food, even if it’s for someone else in the house!

This sounds simple, but not often easy to do. But you will eliminate all temptations with this simple fix. Save eating junk food for when you socialize outside your home.

3. Snack on nuts, but not too many.

Nuts fill us up when we’re hungry and are satisfying. The key is not to eat too many because they have a high fat content. Can you eat just a handful?

4. Eat less overall.

Even if it’s one less scoop of mashed potatoes or a little less sugar in your coffee. You can have a piece of chocolate brownie, just not a big one. Try using smaller plates and resist the urge to go back for seconds, especially if you are not hungry.

5. Eat more vegetarian meals and use more spices.

When you cook meatless meals, there is usually less fat and fat is tasty. So, replace the fat with delectable spices. It’s a great way to “spice” up your life!

6. Meal Plan.

Planning ahead keeps you on track to cook more at home and reduces the desire to eat takeout more often. The positive result is fewer empty calories and guilt about not eating well. A meal plan also helps us be efficient with our time, which is often tight over the holiday season.

7. Move more.

Build a strategy to exercise more every day. Walking, cross country skiing, biking, dancing, weight training...anything that gets you moving. Start a routine now, so that when January rolls around you’ll already be ahead of the game. Find a friend to exercise with for accountably and motivation.

8. Keep a positive outlook.

Set up some simple strategies that can easily and successfully be put into place now and ramped up in the New Year. Remind yourself that you’re doing this for yourself, that it's a worthwhile endeavour, and a fantastic way to tackle the challenge of overindulging over the holidays.