News and Information

Simple Tips to Avoid Unwanted Holiday Weight Gain


Simple Tips to Avoid Unwanted Holiday Weight Gain

A holly, jolly holiday … with a side of unwanted weight gain? It's that time of year when extra calories lurk around every corner—frosted cookies at the office, eggnog at your neighbor's, jelly doughnuts for Hanukkah or chocolates in your stocking. Avoiding holiday weight gain can seem like an uphill battle. Our own Dr. Crystal Bowe offers 5 useful tips to help you fight the battle of the holiday bulge:

  1. Cut out sugary drinks. Replacing your sweet tea or soda with a zero-calorie drink, or water, is an easy way to decrease your caloric intake at each meal without cutting out festive food. Eliminating these extra calories is a great way to stay on track with your diet during the holidays.
  1. Drink a glass of water before each meal. Drinking an 8 oz. glass of water before each meal can decrease the amount of calories you eat with that meal. Since most of us don’t drink enough water each day anyway, this tip will help you stay hydrated and cut calories at the same time!
  1. Use a smaller plate. It may sound silly, but using a smaller plate can help decrease the amount of food you eat per meal. This tip is an easy way to reduce portion size. You only eat what you can fit on the plate.
  1. Wait at least 15 minutes before having a second helping. After using a smaller plate, waiting 15 minutes before having your second helping gives your stomach time to tell your brain if you are really still hungry or not. You can use this 15-minute break during the holidays to chat with family and friends, clean up, or even take a walk.
  1. Walk it off. There is nothing better than a little exercise to help combat holiday weight gain. Increasing your physical activity each day by walking may also help you feel better and have more energy. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. During the holidays, walking can be a great way to help kids burn off excess energy and to connect with family and friends.

Using these tips during the holidays (and even year-round) can help you avoid unwanted weight gain while still enjoying the holiday season.

About Crystal Bowe, MD

Dr. Crystal Bowe MD, MPH is a board certified family physician and a provider at CaroMont Family Medicine—South Gaston in Gastonia NC.

Categories: Health