It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s that time of year again folks, it’s the holiday season. Depending on your goals, the holidays can be a stressful time due to the fear of weight gain. According to a study done by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICDH) and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the typical American gains about a pound during the holiday season. While that may not seem like much, this extra weight may be difficult to take off and may contribute to obesity later in life. While it may seem impossible to resist temptation of your favorite holiday treats, here are a few tips to keep you on track with your nutrition and fitness goals during the holidays.

Be Realistic

The holidays can be one of the most difficult times of the year for weight loss. From weekly holiday parties or treats being brought to the office daily, the temptation to fall off the wagon with your goals increases daily. This is 100% normal. Trying to restrict during the holidays can often lead to a rebound effect that can cause you to overeat more than what you originally had thought. Instead of beating yourself up about not being able to lose weight during this time, you should shift your focus to maintaining your weight during the holidays. This allows you a little bit more freedom and can help prevent unnecessary holiday stress. Focus on staying on track with your exercise program and practice mindful eating.

Be Aware

One of the keys to long term success with your nutrition and exercise goals is consistency. It’s not about a behavior you could do once, its behaviors you can do repeatedly for a sustained amount of time. It is important to remember this concept during the holidays. The holidays are only a brief part of the year and holiday get togethers can average between 1-2 per week. That means you still have quite a few other days where you can focus on making good decisions that contribute to your nutrition and exercise goals. Make sure on the days you are not being bombarded with holiday treats to focus on a minimally processed diet full of lean proteins, non starchy vegetables, and fruits.

Be Flexible

Another key to long term weight loss success includes being flexible with your dietary choices. It is important to not look at foods as good or bad but instead look at how they fit into the overall context of your diet. A holiday cookie here or there will not make or break your diet. It becomes an issue if you start a eating a dozen holiday cookies a day. Pick 1 or 2 of your holiday favorites and then make sure you emphasize lean proteins and non starchy vegetables for the rest of your choices.

There’s a Time a Place for Everything

To sum it all up, shift your focus to maintaining your weight as your goal, focus on making good decisions on the days where you will not be exposed to your holiday favorites, and allow yourself 1-2 treats. For more strategies on how to survive the holidays guilt free or an individualized nutrition plan, contact our SE dietitian today!


Written by: Jesus Hernandez RDN, LD

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