The MOVE by BJC Blog

Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Monday, November 11, 2019

The average weight gain from Thanksgiving to New Year’s is 5 pounds, and people who are already overweight can gain upwards of 12 pounds without even noticing the gradual increase.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some simple tricks to help you maintain your weight this holiday season.

Increase physical activity a little every day. I believe everyone should allow themselves to indulge a little over the holidays. Part of the festivities are the delicious treats you can only get once a year. Accept the fact that you will indulge a little and enjoy it. Just make up for it by ramping up your exercise. Take an extra spin class every week or wake up a little earlier to get a workout in. You don’t have to double your exercise time or sweat until you pass out. Just increase your physical activity a little each workout. You might even lose some pounds.

Water, water, water. Adequate water intake keeps your metabolism running and fends off “sweet attacks.” It also helps you stay hydrated, which can prevent “hydration hunger” – a sensation where people actually mistake dehydration symptoms for feelings of hunger. Here’s a formula to help you determine how much water to drink every day: cut your body weight in half and drink that number of ounces of water per day. (For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, target an intake of 75 ounces of water per day.)

Everything in moderation. I never ask any of my clients to give up anything they enjoy eating or drinking. Instead, I encourage them to enjoy their guilty pleasures -- in moderation. My personal favorite holiday treat is (drum roll) rum cake. I could easily consume an entire rum cake; unfortunately for my stomach I would get sick before that happens. So I usually just eat a small piece most days during the holiday season in place of other sweet treats.

Eat before attending holiday parties. Going to a holiday party hungry will only make you want to over-indulge not only in foods but also alcohol. Eat a healthy, filling snack before you go to events and you will be less tempted to eat or drink too much.

Remember that it’s only 3 or 4 days. Remember that the holidays themselves are really only three to four days – not three months. Too many folks give themselves a free pass from Thanksgiving to New Year’s – which is guaranteed to result in weight gain. Keep things in perspective and only treat yourself on the days you celebrate.

Cut back where you can at other meals. Try making small calorie cutbacks at each meal. For example, a slice of pecan pie averages 500 calories. Try to maintain a close count on the calories you consume. Remember that if you want to enjoy pie after the meal, then lose the gravy on your potatoes. It all adds up!

- Bake McBride