The Holiday season is coming upon us! While they are a joyous time, there can end up being more obligations than we would like to go to leading to more merriment and a slightly larger waistline. While we may appreciate the extra padding as a way to insulate us from the colder weather, it can also mean our closet options are reduced.

Put the odds in your favor and avoid the holiday weight gain by starting now. For many of us, the weight gain begins starts to increase at the end of October with Halloween candy.

Fortunately, most of us think that we gain more pounds than we actually do. On average Americans tend to gain around a pound, while we think we gain about 5 pounds. Don’t let that news let you think that you can go completely hog wild at the dessert table!

In fact most of us tend to gain most of the weight after the holiday. All those leftovers are more of the problem. It feels wasteful to toss out perfectly fine pies, so we keep eating them.

Having a strategy in place prior to events can make a big difference in how we handle situations and can lead to making better choices. Here are some suggestions as a way to avoid holiday weight gain.

  1. Give yourself permission to enjoy the holidays. Going in with an intention of completely restricting what you can eat, drink, and do takes away from the revelry that should be the focus. Take your time and relish the flavor of what you are eating.
  2. Keep track of all the events you are invited to and know that you don’t have to attend all of them. Pick and choice which gatherings are the most important and stick to those. Or limit how many events that you will attend for the season or per week. Yes to your work and kids’ holiday pageants, but no to the friends that you haven’t seen since last their last holiday party. You can send your condolences with a bottle of wine or treat.
  3. Rich foods are abound in the winter! Prepare in advance by balancing out your meals. Have a lighter breakfast of a smoothie and salad or vegetable soup for lunch before going to the 5 course sit down meal. The next day you can also stay on the lighter side.
  4. Drink plenty of water. The colder weather can dehydrate us faster and our body can confuse thirst with hunger. Plus it will help you feel fuller with zero calories!
  5. Arrive at events with something in your stomach. Have an apple, a bowl of vegetable soup, carrot sticks, a few nuts, etc. before you attend an event. You won’t be as hungry and can keep the extra nooshing to a minimum.
  6. Bring a healthy option to events if you can. This way you know that you have something to fill up that will having feeling better, such as a salad with roasted vegetables or a healthier dessert option.
  7. Don’t skip your workouts. Even if you have to shorten them or just do a quick workout. (The Seven Minute Workout is one option.)
  8. Everyone fights for the parking spots closest to the store entrances. On cold winter nights shopping, it certainly is tempting to wait for a good spot. You’ll save time and get more exercise in by automatically parking father away. Plus, on a slippery day, you might have fewer bad drivers to ding your car.
  9. Add steps to your day by mingling around the party. You’ll also spend time talking to more people. Opt to stand instead of sit if you can, especially if you spent the whole day at your desk.
  10. Add a race or two to your schedule. There are plenty of Turkey Trots, Santa Runs, and New Year’s 5ks to motivate you to be active during the season. They tend to be low key, fun, and have options for the whole family.
  11. Be mindful of the amount alcohol you drink. Yes, safety is a concern, especially if you are driving. But there is always someone who will be topping off your wine glass while you are busy talking leading that one glass of wine to turn into three or four. This will help reduce extra calories from the alcohol and increase self-control.
  12. Plan an active vacation in the first few months of the year. It can take up to five months to lose the holiday weight. At AnamBliss, our wellness adventures can help you get back on track for the New Year.

Take a moment to develop a plan for the holiday season. Think of different events that you have scheduled and how you can best prepare for them. Write your plan down and put it somewhere you can see it.

Get a printable copy of the “12 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain.”

Kate Hamm combines her 15+ years of experience in the fitness industry and high-end resort program development into sought after wellness adventures at AnamBliss. Visit for future retreat dates and locations.

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