How Can I Survive the Holiday Without Gaining Weight?

During the holidays, people usually eat more calories and gain weight than usual. This can be discouraging to those who are working on losing fat and achieving a healthy body composition.

Most people only gain an average of one pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, but this can still be enough to give you anxiety and even derail your diet plan. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to survive the holiday without gaining any extra weight.

1. Have one big meal a day instead of snacking all day long

This sounds counterintuitive, but research shows that grazing throughout the day can actually lead to a higher calorie intake than if you had fewer, larger meals. That’s because it’s easier to eat a high-calorie food throughout the day than it is to eat it in one meal.

Eating a smaller, more frequent number of meals will also help you to feel more full and prevent the dreaded binge-eating phase that often comes after overindulging on a large meal. Having three or more smaller meals a day will also help you to keep your blood sugar levels stable and maintain a healthy weight.

2. Pregame your feasting with a few small meals beforehand

Gillian Leverett, MS, RDN, suggests that you pregame your big holiday meal with a couple of small, protein-rich snacks to kickstart your digestive system and keep you feeling satisfied and less likely to binge. This can be anything from a small bowl of Greek yogurt with berries to a few eggs and slices of whole grain toast for breakfast.

3. Have a walk after your feast

Finally, it’s always helpful to take a walk after eating a big meal to burn off some of the food you just consumed. Not only does it get you away from the table, but it also helps to burn some of the glucose that you’ve been storing as fat.

4. Drink plenty of water

Most people tend to drink more drinks around the holidays, including alcoholic beverages. But water is one of the best calorie-free drinks, and it can help you to stay hydrated while limiting your overall calorie consumption.

Keeping track of how much water you drink is also an important part of managing your weight and maintaining a healthy diet. The best way to track how much water you’re drinking is by keeping a handy, refillable water bottle on you at all times.

5. Wear something fitted and fabulous

When it comes to holiday celebrations, wearing fitted clothing is a smart move that can help you avoid overeating. Choose a snug pair of jeans over comfy sweatpants, and dress in something that makes you feel comfortable and confident.

6. Bring an appetizer or dish that is healthier than what’s offered at the party

The holidays are a time to enjoy all of the special things that come with this season. But, don’t let them distract you from your goals and priorities.