Apr 26, 2011 | adapted from

by Michele Turcotte, MS, RD


According to a research study published by the New England Journal of Medicine the average holiday weight gain is not 5 lbs. (as most people believe) but is closer to 1.2 lbs. Unfortunately the weight gained is not lost during the following year. Holiday weight gain may contribute to overall weight gain in adults. Follow these diet-survival tips to avoid incremental weight gain that can result in packing an extra 15 lbs. in less than 10 years.


We call it the holiday season, but in reality, there are only a few actual holidays during the season. This time is about giving, sharing, gathering and enjoying the company of family and friends. If you think of it as a time to eat, your actions will follow your thought patterns. Plan well and pace yourself. Keep your schedule flexible and do not overextend yourself. If you do, you will not have time to plan healthy meals, exercise and get enough sleep, which are all essential for weight control.


During the holidays, the workplace is full of fatty goodies, such as candy and bakery items. Become a grazer and keep healthy noshes close-by. Say “no thank you” to office sweets. Occasional splurges are for special days, not for everyday. If the goodies are in sight of your desk, politely ask if they can be moved, or move them yourself. Bring your own sweet treats such as a Ideal protein chocolate pudding packet, or an Ideal Protein white cheddar crisps packet to keep you satisfied.


Focus on family and the reason for the season and be a good host or guest. Do not linger in the kitchen or near the buffet table. Never sit down to a holiday meal ravenous. You will set yourself up for a disaster. Have a small well-balanced snack in advance, such as an Ideal protein orange drink and cucumber slices. Bring your own healthful dish to pass, such as assorted raw veggies with Walden Farms dip or a homemade Ideal protein dessert. If you are a guest at a holiday party, let your host know ahead of time that you are on a special diet. If you are familiar with the menu, it will be easier to maneuver around obstacles.


When it comes to holiday meals, there are usually plenty of options. Attempt to make better choices without denying yourself. Your waistline, will thank you. Munch on raw vegetables, grilled veggies and low fat meat slices. Fill your plate with lean meats, lots of veggies, salad (if available). Drink plenty of water before during and after your event.


It’s all about taking in less calories as you expend. Move more to avoid gaining weight. Add an extra 15 to 20 minutes onto your workout routine to burn more calories during the holidays or add a workout to your weekly routine. Ditch the car at the furthest parking spot at the mall and hoof it all over the store during your holiday shopping. Wear a pedometer and see how many steps you can clock. Keep your food journal. It keeps you honest and discourages impulse eating behaviors. Seeing what you’ve eaten, in black and white, is a deterrent.

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