Cupid's Pulse Article: Health Advice: How to Prevent Weight Gain During the HolidaysCupid's Pulse Article: Health Advice: How to Prevent Weight Gain During the Holidays

By Nicole Maher

While there is so much to look forward to during the holiday season, one concern many people face is the possibility of weight gain. With higher calorie counts in holiday meals and the constant temptation of dessert, the idea of gaining weight can make the holidays feel more stressful. Try incorporating some of the following health advice for keeping your weight consistent this holiday season, and go into the new year feeling your best. 

Check out our health advice for preventing weight gain during the holiday season.

1. Stay active: The holidays can be a busy time, but it’s important to keep exercising. Try to maintain your normal workout programs during the season to stay on track with your fitness goals. If you don’t have time for a full workout on certain days, try completing smaller exercises sporadically throughout the day. By keeping your body in motion, you will prevent yourself from gaining weight and feel confident attending all of your holiday events. 

Related Link: Fitness Tips: How to Shed Holiday Weight After the New Year

2. Control portion sizes: It’s the holidays, and you shouldn’t miss out on one of your favorite meals simply because you’re concerned about gaining weight. Instead, try to manage the amount of food you’re putting on your plate. If you know a certain dish has a high number of calories, try taking a smaller serving and counteracting the amount with more vegetables. This is also a great option for holiday desserts. By cutting a slice of cake in half, you’ll still be enjoying your holiday favorites while maintaining a healthy diet. 

Related Link: Food Tips: 5 Healthy Lunch Options

3. Modify recipes: Another way to monitor and prevent weight gain during the holidays is to modify recipes. Many holiday dishes and desserts are higher in calories and sugars than meals we may eat on a typical day. By substituting in ingredients with healthier options, you can still enjoy your holiday favorites while controlling your weight. Try switching out sugar with natural sweeteners, or baking a dish rather than frying it to cut down on extra calories. 

4. Manage stress levels: Food is not the only factor contributing to weight gain during the holiday season. Stress levels also have a large impact on a person’s body, and can cause someone to gain weight. Try finding new ways to manage increased stress during the holiday season, such as keeping a journal, talking to a professional, or allowing for some alone-time. Using this piece of health advice and testing different types of stress management can also provide you with effective ways to manage stress in the new year. 

5. Develop a plan: There are going to be times during the holidays when you want to break your diet plan, and that’s okay. Instead of constructing a tight plan when approaching the holiday season, allow for your diet plan to have some leeway. Factor in the possibility of having dessert on certain nights, or taking an extra serving of your favorite holiday meal. This will reduce some of the guilt you feel when eating something less healthy, and encourage you to continue your diet afterwards by alleviating any feelings of cheating. 

What are some other health tips to prevent weight gain during the holidays? Start a conversation in the comments below.