How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain – 4 Tips

Enjoy The Holidays Without Diet Sabotage

How am I going to enjoy the holidays and not gain weight?” is the most common question I hear from my patients during this time of year. I get it. The holidays are synonymous with office pitch-ins, sugar cookies and family gatherings. But enjoying them doesn’t mean you have to derail your diet. Here’s a 4 simple tips to keep your diet on track and avoid holiday weight gain.

1. Stop thinking about your diet as ALL orNONE

Everyone has a tendency to think it’s all or none while dieting – that if you “cheat” on the holiday you’ll blow your diet. The weight loss reality – it’s not true. You don’t gain or lose weight based on one day. It’s your average weekly intake that will determine whether or not we lose weight that week.

Focus on the total weekly calories – not one day.
To lose 1 lbs a week, the average person needs to consume 3,500 less calories per week. If one day you consume 500 extra calories but cut 500 out every other day, you’re still at 2,500 calorie deficit for the week. It will take 9 days instead of 7 days to reach the one pound weight loss. You’re still winning.

2. Allow for Food Indulgences but Track it & Factor it.

Give yourself one or two days that you’re going to allow yourself a little bit of indulgence. Don’t deprive yourself.  If we tell our brain we can’t have something at all, we obsess over it and end up over-indulging more. Instead, allow yourself a small portion of that food, so you can stop thinking about it.  But be aware of overall calories. Have one cookie at the office party – but just don’t nibble on numerous sweets all week. Use your food journal to track it and factor it. Reduce calories and carbohydrates on other days other days to make up for the cookie or pumpkin pie. Add in more rigorous activity. Just don’t beat yourself up.

3. Stress & Overeating  

Control your stress. Easier said then done, right? We all tend to overfill our lives with commitments during the holidays. Don’t be afraid to say no. The less stress you have, the less likely you are to stress eat and to continue in your normal routine and organization.

4. Surviving Holiday Dinners & Office Pitch-Ins

  • Make the most of protein. Use a smaller plate. Fill it mostly with protein and try just a tablespoon of the side items (typically loaded with carbs). Eat the Turkey first, slowly. Protein fills you up faster so you’ll be less likely to overload on the carbohydrates. Protein is also an appetite suppressant so you’ll be less hungry later and less likely to consume extra calories with the leftovers.
  • Ditch the casseroles. Serve broccoli with cheese or regular green beans. Casseroles tend to add lots of hidden carbs to your meal. Simplifying your dishes – saves time and calories!
  • Make & Take dishes with lower carb substitutions. There are tons of lower carb recipes out there – just start googling! Our very own patient, Michelle shares a some on our blog including Mashed Potatoes and Macaroni & Cheese! See them now.


Simply add in a little bit extra holiday exercise and all of the sudden things are looking so derailed.  You’ll see the holidays aren’t synonymous with weight gain. And not only you won’t gain weight but you can go into the New Year a couple pounds lighter.