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How Can We Avoid Weight Gain During the Holiday Season?

As we move closer to the holidays, weight gain increases—with the greatest gain occurring in the 10 days after Christmas.

As the weather gets cooler and daylight hours become shorter, people spend more time indoors. This can pose challenges, when “comfort food” may seem like the only bright spot on long, dreary days. This can lead to weight gain, which can be hard to avoid as we move deeper into the holiday season. Beginning in October and continuing into the New Year, weight gain increases, with the greatest gain occurring in the 10 days after Christmas. Many folks think weight gain is unavoidable during “the holidays” or “the holiday season”.  Sure there is a span of time that we refer to, and it brings joy to prepare to celebrate, see family and friends, decorate the house, move the elf..  But let’s try to look at it as really only a day or so.  There will be cookies, candy and all sorts of treats around at work for weeks on end, but you don’t have to let yourself indulge.

Fortunately, there is still time to work on developing a plan to deal with holiday temptations. Deprivation doesn’t work, as is consistently evidenced by the poor outcomes of fad diets that rely heavily on this strategy (ie. absolutely no sugar, no white foods, etc).  A more sensible — and achievable — approach is to plan ahead for the food challenges that will certainly arise and to figure out a way to enjoy the merriment while limiting weight gain. Moderation in consumption and prevention of gain are the goals. 

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