The Holidays Don't Have to Start with Weight Gain!

Tips for managing common pitfalls this season

Tess Thompson

There are a few guidelines you can follow in order to avoid the emotional eating and overindulgence often associated with the holidays, helping to minimize holiday weight-gain –saving you the burden and guilt of adding "weight loss" to your list of New Year’s resolutions.

  • Learn how to say no: Most of us will get more invitations than usual during the holidays. This doesn’t mean you have to hire an assistant to manage your social obligations. Running around from event to event can leave you frazzled and lead to weight gain, as a cocktail here and hor dourve there can easily add up to excess calories. Prioritize and attend engagements that do not conflict with your schedule or require you sacrifice the healthy parts of your life like exercise in order to attend.
  • Pre-schedule a babysitter: This can be an enormous help so you can focus on running extra errands, cooking a healthy meal, going to the gym, buying gifts, or simply to take a little break.
  • Drink plenty of water: While most of us already do drink plenty of water, during the holidays, foods loaded with sodium in addition to an increase in alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration quite quickly. This can turn into feeling bloated and fatigued—the last thing you need this time of the year!
  • Avoid eating out too often: Yes, it’s tempting-- who wants to go home and make dinner after a long day at work, combined with the multitude of obligations that arise especially during this time of the year? However, restaurant food--no matter how healthy and low-carb menu items may be- contains an enormous amount of sodium that is detrimental to health and can lead to weight gain.
  • Stick to your exercise routine: Regardless of choice of exercise-- walking, running, swimming, jogging, or practicing yoga-- regular exercise is a part of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise not only helps keep weight within a healthy range, it also promotes restful sleep and relieves stress.
  • Get enough sleep: This is one of the most important tips to follow. Research has shown a link between obesity and insomnia. The study showed that people who slept less then 6 hours of sleep a night are at a higher risk for obesity.
  • Be grateful and have fun! Holidays are a time to cherish the people we love and to honor those who are no longer with us.

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