Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

With all the parties and tasty treats, it can be challenging to maintain your weight during the holidays. Here's how you can avoid holiday weight gain.

Stay active

It can be hard to find time to exercise during the holidays, but getting regular exercise is one of the best ways to avoid holiday weight gain. If you need motivation, try exercising with a friend or in a group.


Eat a healthy breakfast

You won't be as interested in your co-worker's homemade sugar cookies if you start your day with a healthy breakfast. Eating breakfast can also help you avoid overeating later in the day.


Limit alcohol

Too much alcohol can cause you to gain weight. Just one 12-ounce beer contains 153 calories, while one 5-ounce glass of red or white wine contains about 123 calories. If you plan to drink at holiday parties, limit yourself to one drink if you're a woman and two if you're a man.


Make healthier holiday treats

Try these tips to cut calories and fat from your favorite treats:

  • Cut the sugar in recipes by one-third or one-half.
  • Use applesauce, mashed bananas or Gerber Baby prunes instead of butter or vegetable oil for muffins, dense cakes, fudgy brownies and chewy cookies.
  • Spread less icing on cakes.
  • Use low-fat or non-fat dairy ingredients.


The activity and social demands of the holidays can cause stress, which can lead to stress eating. Avoid stress-related weight gain by taking the time to relax this holiday season. Practice yoga or deep breathing, get a massage, and make sure you get plenty of rest.


Improve your willpower

Self-control can help you avoid weight gain. Follow these tips to improve your willpower:

  • Visualize yourself eating healthy foods. This can help you make healthy food choices in real life.
  • Avoid temptations. For example, don't stand near the food table at holiday parties.
  • Reward yourself. For example, watch what you eat Monday through Friday, and enjoy richer foods on the weekend. 

For more tips on making healthy food choices during the holidays, check out this blog by Amanda Valentine, B105 radio personality.

​Dr. Dressler received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine. He holds a board certification in Family Practice. Looking for a primary care physician to help you with weight loss or other health needs? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Dressler today.