The holidays are typically a time to spend quality moments with the family and create memories all while indulging in all the wonderful foods, desserts and adult beverages we can get our hands on. This is truly a wonderful time of the year!

With that being said, the holidays are also a time where we can pack on the extra pounds from all the traveling, eating and drinking we do. Then we find ourselves creating New Year resolutions to lose weight, get healthier, etc.  

This year, why not get an early start on your New Year resolutions? I’m totally not saying don’t enjoy yourself but I am suggesting to be mindful about how much you enjoy yourself…if you know what I mean.

To help combat weight gain and maintain your health during the holidays, try some of the following tips.


Avoid Overeating

Consistent overeating leads to unhealthy weight gain. The key to losing weight or even preventing weight gain is making sure we at least burn more calories than we consume to lose or burn the same amount of calories to maintain our current weight.

If you are consistently overeating and not being active then the weight gain will eventually come.   

Gastric Distress can also be a result of overeating that can lead to gas and bloating. The stomach can typically hold 1-2 cups of food. When we overeat, the stomach has to stretch in order to compensate for the excess volume of food. This results in the stomach pressing up against other organs leading to a feeling of discomfort, sluggishness and drowsiness.

Heartburn is also another symptom of overeating. As a result of the stomach being extra full, the digestive enzymes needed to breakdown food leak into the esophagus. This causes a burning, painful sensation in the chest area.

  • A few Tips to Avoid Overeating:
  • Eat breakfast: If you wait until dinner to eat then you may consume more from being extra hungry.
  • Exercise Thanksgiving morning: Exercise helps to reduce the secretion of hunger hormones while increasing the secretion of hunger-suppressing hormones.
  • Wear fitted clothes to dinner: Tighter clothes, less room for the stomach to stretch which will trigger you to not eat so much.
  • Start dinner with fruit and veggie appetizers.
  • Eat off a smaller plate.
  • Drink a glass of water before eating.
  • Don’t watch TV while eating so you are more attentive to how much you consume.
  • Eat slowly: It takes 20 minutes for your brain to send a signal to your stomach that you are full.
  • Remember you can always have leftovers tomorrow!

Stay Active

The holidays can throw us off our normal routine and as a result we may not be as active. Traveling and visiting with family can throw a wrench in our regular exercise plans.

  • A Few Tips to Stay Active Include:
  • Keep your regular exercise routine during the holidays. Don’t have a regular routine, implement one now to prevent excess weight gain during the holidays.
  • Exercise as a family! Holidays are a time to spend with family, why not exercise to together?
  • YouTube has tons of free exercise routines you can do in the comfort of your home.
  • If you are traveling, take a few pieces of equipment that are easy to pack such as a jump rump, sliders, dumbbells and a stability ball that can be deflated for easy packing.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

One thing I love to do when I go back home for the holidays is catch up with my girlfriends and family and enjoy a few adult beverages!! Wine, martini’s, margarita’s oh my!!

Of course with the increase in drinking comes an increase in calories not to mention that when we drink and eat the body prioritizes metabolizing alcohol first then food so it can cause our body to store any extra food we eat as fat.

  • If you are drinking more during the holidays, here a few tips to make it healthier:
  • Alternate drinks with a glass of water.
  • Stick with red wine, it has less calories and is healthier.
  • Avoid sugary mixed drinks. They have way more calories than a glass of wine or a plain shot of alcohol.
  • Excessive drinking leads to excessive eating! Drinking makes you hungry, so the more you drink the more you will want to snack.
  • Try to stick to the recommended limitations per drink.
    • Women should have no more than one drink per day and men no more than two. One drink is considered:
      • Beer: 12 ounces at 5%
      • Wine: 5 ounces at 12%
      • Liquor: 1.5 ounces at 40% (80 proof)
Nathan Dumlao

Take Time for Yourself

Holidays can lead to stress, let’s face it we love our family but there are times we need a break as well! Excess stress can lead to headache, digestive issues and sleep disturbances.

Not to mention stress can lead to excess secretion of cortisol which can increase your appetite and cravings for junk food.

  • A few tips to relax include:
  • Take some quiet time for yourself and go for a walk, get a massage or take a nice relaxing bath.
  • Practice Meditation. Meditation is the process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. It may be difficult in the beginning but overtime it will be easier to clear your mind.
  • Take a break from social media. Although social media is a great way to stay connected to family and friends, it can also be mentally overwhelming at times.
  • Think positively and avoid people who constantly talk negative and bring drama to your life.

Get Adequate Sleep

Sleep is important for you, your appetite, your mental health and your happiness depend on it. Sleep is important for both fat loss and muscle gain, especially when you’re in workout mode. Your body, your workouts, and your goals will suffer because of a lack of quality sleep. Try to get 6-8 hours of quality sleep every night.

  • Benefits of Sleep:
  • Helps control your appetite.
  • Helps with your mental health and happiness.
  • Controls secretion of cortisol. Cortisol is released as a result of stress and can increase the accumulation of excess body fat.
  • Your body heals itself when you sleep!

Now that you have a few tips to help you stay healthy during the holidays it’s time to have some fun and enjoy quality time with your family and friends!

Find Health in Every Day!

Dr. Lindsay