The holidays are a time for celebration. But it’s also a time when many of us eat too much and exercise too little. With a little planning and commitment, you can strike a balance between savoring the season and keeping your health goals on track. Keep reading as we explore practical and sustainable habits that you can adopt during the holidays – and all year long.

8 Secrets to Holiday Weight Loss

The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is full of friends, family, fun, and food. And, between social commitments and travel, it’s even more difficult than normal to find time to exercise. Instead of resigning yourself to the annual holiday weight gain, use these eight tips to prioritize your health during this busy time of the year.

  1. Plan Your Meals: As with all things in life, preparation is key. Planning your meals and snacks in advance can be a game-changer during the holidays. This allows you to make healthier choices and avoid impulsive decisions. If you’re attending a holiday gathering, consider bringing a nutritious dish to share, ensuring there’s a healthy option available. If you’re hosting a get-together, you can control the options available. It’s important to note effective preparation doesn’t look the same for everyone. Many people find success by approaching weight loss and weight management based on their unique lifestyle.
  2. Practice Mindful Eating: Depriving yourself of the food and holiday treats you love is a recipe for disaster. Instead, practice mindful eating. Pay attention to what you’re consuming, savor every bite, and listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Avoid overindulging in large portions, and instead, focus on smaller, well-portioned servings. This small change can ensure you enjoy your favorite holiday dishes without going overboard.
  3. Balance Your Plate: Always aim for balance — in what you cook and what you put on your plate. Include a variety of foods like lean proteins, whole grains, and colorful vegetables. By having a well-rounded meal, you’ll satisfy your nutritional needs and keep the temptation to overindulge at bay. That doesn’t mean you can have some of your holiday favorites, just keep the serving small.
  4. Drink More Water: According to Johns Hopkins University, water can help suppress your appetite, boost your metabolism, and make exercise easier and more efficient. Plus, it helps to prevent unnecessary snacking. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, so try drinking some water before you reach for the snacks.
  5. Practice Portion Control: We’re all guilty of over-eating during the holidays, but that doesn’t have to be the case. From eating a small, healthy meal before you arrive at a gathering to using smaller plates, there are a lot of easy ways to keep your portion control in check. Get more tips on healthy serving sizes during the holidays from Mayo Clinic.
  6. Don’t Skip Meals: Skipping meals to “save up” for a big holiday feast is counterproductive. It usually leads to overeating and poor food choices later in the day. In fact, skipping meals can slow down your metabolism and lead to weight gain. Learn what happens to your body when you skip meals in this article from Piedmont Health. Instead, stick to your regular eating schedule. This can help control your appetite and prevent you from going overboard on high-calorie treats.
  7. Be More Active: Maintaining an exercise routine during the holidays is essential for managing your weight. Incorporate physical activity into your daily schedule, even if it’s just a brisk walk after dinner or some holiday-themed family activities.
  8. Manage Your Stress: The holiday season can be a stressful time, which can lead to emotional eating. Practice stress management techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to keep your stress levels in check. And remember, exercise is a great way to help manage stress all year round. By reducing stress, you’ll be less likely to reach for comfort foods and more likely to make healthier choices.

Keep Your Weight in Check Throughout the Holidays

During the holidays, temptations are everywhere. As Dr. Gallalger at Margal Medical explains in this video, there are ways to keep your weight in check this holiday season.

Getting support from friends and family or joining Maragal Medical’s NutriHealth Weight Loss Program can also help. Having someone to share your goals with can provide motivation and accountability, making it easier to stick to your healthy habits during the holidays.

Enjoy the Holidays, Without the Guilt

For too many, overindulging during the holidays leads to continuing to over-indulge in the new year. Put yourself on a better path by implementing healthy habits. Whether you are looking to maintain your weight through the holiday – or maybe even lose weight – Maragal Medical can help. Our NutriHealth Weight Loss Program provides personalized guidance and a science-backed approach that will help you gain control of your health journey. Contact us today to build a healthier relationship with weight management.