Preventative Measures for Holiday Weight Gain

I’m all about preventative maintenance. I’ve learned the hard way that if you don’t keep the oil changed in your car, bad things may happen to your engine that can cost you thousands of dollars. I’ve seen what happens if you let your termite bond lapse on your house, and unfortunate things can happen if you leave a dead tree too close to your house and you live in tornado alley.

This time of year, taking some preventative measures to avoid having an unnecessary weight gain over the next couple of weeks will help the scale stay within an acceptable range for you, keep on securely on your weight loss path, if you are trying to get to a healthy weight.

When I was on my own personal weight loss journey, I was nervous about Christmas because I loved to make and eat sugar cookies, couldn’t get enough Christmas candy, and never turned down a friend’s offer of a sweet dessert, even if I didn’t even like the dessert she made.

I’m proud, even after all these years, that I lost weight over Christmas that year, and didn’t feel deprived, but rather felt empowered that I could make good choices even throughout the holiday season. The empowered feeling gave me confidence as I continued to lose weight, because I knew if I had made it successfully through Christmas, I could also make it through other holidays and celebrations.

Some preventative measures that may help you avoid gaining weight throughout the holidays include:

  1. Avoid buying Christmas candy or desserts  - If it is not in your house, you can’t eat it.
  2. Use a rating system for foods people offer you – I still rate my food on a scale of 1 to 10. If the food isn’t a 9 or 10, then I politely say no.
  3. Add 20 more minutes of physical activity – Use resistance bands to do a workout while you watch television, add a 20 minute fast walk after dinner, or increase your exercise time by 20 minutes to help rev your metabolism and burn some calories.
  4. Communicate your desires to your family and friends – If you do not clearly tell your family and friends that you do not want to be offered junky food and sweets, they may not believe that you are serious about your commitment during the holidays.
  5. Induldge in small ways – If Christmas isn’t complete without peppermint patties or chocolate covered cherries, allow yourself to have a few in order to not deprive yourself. Plan your indulgences in advance and eat without guilt.

These are some of the preventative measures that worked for me back then, and continue to work for me now.

I’d love it if you would share your best preventative tips for this holiday season. Diane


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  1. Last year was my first Christmas that I needed to go through and I too lost weight through that period of time. I too feel empowered :)
    I agree with you – if the Christmas candies or sweets aren’t in your home then you will not eat them.
    blackhuff recently posted…Ask SantaMy Profile

  2. It is so easy to gain weight over the holidays because you’re eating unconsciously. I say if you are going to cheat then cheat one day and not the whole month. Also continue to exercise even on the days you cheat.

  3. My rule of thumb, suggested to clients, has always been this:

    Celebrate, but keep the size of the celebration relative to the size of the moment. And really, what moments in life are worth eating to the point of regret….?
    Emergefit recently posted…On Exercise And Aging…My Profile

  4. Seems so simple, doesn’t it :-)

    Once we really want to, it is!

  5. Diane, love your tips!!! I am so a point system person too! I generally eat he same year round & for the holidays, I plan for a treat or 2 just like I do all year round with my weekend cookie treats. BUT, yes, it must be a 9 or 10 & most times a 10! If I try & don’t feel it is a 9 or 10, I don’t eat it!

    But for me, it is just about not eating just to eat….
    Jody – Fit at 53 recently posted…Buff Babies, Boats Sinking, Butter ShortageMy Profile

  6. I buy candy for stocking stuffers… but not early! In the past I sometimes ate it and had to buy more:( I was given hostess gifts the other night that were decadent packaged food. I immediately put them out for my guests to eat so less for me to potentially indulge in!
    Karen@WaistingTime recently posted…Girls Just Wanna Have FunMy Profile

  7. I totally agree with indulging in small ways. I want to experience everything and not feel deprived. So I always have a good filling dinner and even a healthy treat in mind so that I can literally be satisfied with just a few bites of some rich desserts.
    Marie@feedingfive recently posted…Vainity SizingMy Profile

  8. do you have any idea what the baby ‘chicks’ are in the picture? I assume it is a borrowed picture? If not, KUDDOS for a great looking table.
    vickie recently posted…JulieMy Profile

  9. My best tip is to THINK. Really, it sounds silly… but if every meal is a conscious one, chances are you’ll make good choices. Works like that for me anyway.
    Maren recently posted…Surgery sucks. A lot.My Profile

  10. Great ideas!

    This year to prevent emotional and stress eating I’ve avoided baking. I used to love holiday baking and last year I even hosted a cookie party. But then several people cancelled last minute and I had DOZENS of cookies in my house. I don’t need that temptation!
    Lisa recently posted…I’m Gonna Be One of THOSE Mothers…My Profile

  11. One of the things I remember reading in Sean Anderson’s blog (that I try to implement regarding money) is that you save up for indulgences, or budget for them. You don’t have to either stick to your 1800-calorie-a-day budget or else go completely out of your mind. Set a special budget for Thanksgiving and Christmas only: 2300 calories. For those two days, you can spend a bit more.

    That way, you’re able to enjoy a treat or two, but you aren’t going totally out of control.

    I do that with money. If I want something, I don’t get it, I save up for it so that when I do get it, I can write a check and have it free and clear. It’s not a matter of deprivation versus a total loss of control. You can indulge while still staying in a budget and feeling under control. Indulgences can be budgeted like anything else.

  12. Oh oh oh, I NEVER thought of a ranking system! Seriously awesome. I’ve cut back on my baking and that has been super helpful! If it isn’t there you can’t eat it!

  13. Great tips Diane. Thanks!!! For me, moderation not deprivation works. I just need a little treat, and I’m good to go.
    Roz@weightingfor50 recently posted…Deck the halls – Part 1….with help….My Profile

  14. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  15. Those are such great tips, especially rating the food. I have never thought to do that actively (I think ‘oh, that looks good’ or ‘super yum!’ but I can justify almost any food I don’t really love that way) with values but I am going to have to try that with bready treats when I hit maintenance. Those are my downfall, and I can’t tell you how often I have eaten many of them that were mediocre and not worth the calories!
    Taryl recently posted…Day 2 – Load DayMy Profile

  16. Doing a workout while you watch television OR adding a 20 minute fast walk after dinner is great advice!
    Sometimes I do squats or sit ups while watching a film. Mine you I miss half with the sit ups when I lie back LOL
    ali weight loss recently posted…Alcohol and weight lossMy Profile