How to Keep Off Holiday Pounds

Most of us enjoy the holiday season, all the gifts, and parties and holiday food. However, few of us like what follows: the bills and weight gain. Not to mention tax season! There’s not much we can do about bills and taxes, but we can avoid the holiday pounds if we’re just smart about our eating habits. Here are some tips for enjoying your holidays without putting on too many pounds.

Portion Control

This is the secret to controlling your eating at any occasion. Eat all the foods you want, but just eat less. If you have an option, try getting a smaller plate, even if you have to switch out with one from the kids’ table. Then fill your plate once—no seconds!

When you’re getting a piece of pie, ask for a small one, and hold whoever’s doing the cutting to it. When eating things that are pre-portioned, like muffins or cookies, ask someone to split it with you.

Think about Drinks

Don’t forget that drinks can have a lot of calories, too. Apple cider, hot cocoa, and egg nog are holiday favorites, but all of them are loaded with sugar (and cocoa and egg nog have a lot of fat, too!)

Alcohol also contains a lot of calories. If you’re drinking alcoholic drinks, you can cut down your calorie intake by taking liquor straight or on the rocks, as opposed to a cocktail, beer, or wine.

Whatever you’re drinking, alternate with glasses of water to reduce your calorie intake and make sure you stay hydrated so you can lose your water weight.

Cook Healthy

Whenever you’re cooking a holiday meal or a dish to bring, try to make it a healthier variety. Don’t add too much extra butter or other fats. This is especially true if you’re cooking an otherwise healthy vegetable. Sweet potatoes, for example, are great for you, but many people put so much butter, sugar, and marshmallows on them that they become health traps.

Cut down on salt. Add flavor with herbs and spices instead.

Use homemade salt-free and skimmed stock rather than salty bouillon or broth from the store.

Don’t add meats to stuffing. Instead, add nuts and extra onions or celery to make a stuffing that contains less fat and more flavor.


Not all holiday foods are created equal. If you only see your aunt once a year and she always makes a delicious pumpkin cheesecake, then have some, but avoid the prepackaged dinner rolls that you can have any day. Dive into the holiday foods that are really festive, but skip the ones that are just joyless calories you’ll regret later.

Keep Exercising

We know the holidays are hectic. We know it’s hard to put in time at the gym when you’re using that time to sneak off to the mall and do your shopping in secret. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising. Try to fit in incidental exercise whenever you can. Park farther from the store, use the stairs rather than the escalators or elevator at the mall, and go on foot between strip malls that are close to one another.

Get Help

Of course, much of this is easier said than done. Having some support in your weight loss efforts can really help you lose weight and keep it off. Diet counseling can help you eat healthy at all times of the year, and build in room for enjoying special festive foods occasionally.

We can help you lose weight in a healthy way and keep it off long-term. To learn how, please contact Med-Fit Medical Weight Loss Clinic today.

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Dr. Angela Tran