Avoiding Derailment: Staying on Track Over the Holidays

Have you ever woken up on New Years Day, after six weeks of holiday parties, to find your jeans a little tighter than before Thanksgiving? Have you grown weary of going on detox diets after the holidays to get back to where you’re comfortable?

You’re not alone if you’ve ever gained weight over the holidays. The average American gains about 1 pound in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years day.  People who are overweight entering the holiday season tend to gain more weight than the average–about five pounds more—during the holidays. According to an article in Nutrition Review, about 51% of annual weight gain occurs during the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years.

What if you were free to enjoy the holidays without sacrificing the fit of your jeans? Keeping up with your healthy lifestyle over the holidays isn’t as hard as you think.  Here are simple guidelines to help you stay on track throughout the holiday season:

  • Fill Your Plate… with foods that make you feel healthy! One great thing about holiday feasts is that there is often variety of delicious veggie dishes from which to choose. Fill half your plate with vegetables and the other half with a healthy protein and a starch—don’t hesitate if you want second helpings of veggies! For some extra insurance, consider bringing a healthy side dish to share—I’m sure your host will thank you!
  • Drink A Lot… of water! The holiday party is no stranger to salty hor d’oeuvres. Drinking plenty of water can help combat the fluid retention brought on by eating salty party foods.  In addition to helping to detoxify the body and regulate metabolism, drinking water during and after meals can also improve digestion.  Make sure to drink 8, 8oz glasses a day—about 2 liters—to keep things running smoothly.

  • Give In to Your Cravings…for special holiday foods! Make your splurges worth it—pass on the everyday foods and spoil yourself  (in moderation, of course) with treats that are only around during the holidays.  Make a plan to indulge in your favorite holiday food and stick with that plan. Most of all enjoy your splurges! After all, you only get them once a year!

By taking these guidelines into consideration, and listening closely to your body, you are sure to survive the holiday season (and fit into your jeans) with ease!

Staying on track with your healthy lifestyle during the holidays can be a challenge, but you never have to go through it alone! Now is a great time to seek the support of a health coach—contact me at AllisonNichols.HC@gmail.com for a free consultation!

4 Responses to Avoiding Derailment: Staying on Track Over the Holidays

  1. Salah December 9, 2010 at 8:54 PM #

    Such a great post! This is the time of year a lot of people lose themselves in all the food traditions! However, it’s always important to keep goals in mind!

    • AllieNic December 10, 2010 at 12:18 PM #

      Thanks Salah! I totally agree– I think a lot of people see the Holidays as an excuse to throw caution to the wind. It just makes “recovering” longer and more frustrating!


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