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6 Helpful Tips to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

Updated: Feb 15

by Harmony Fitness/Ece, 12.2023

Are you struggling with shedding those extra holiday pounds? If so, keep reading to learn about the necessary modifications.

Obesity has become a growing concern, with the winter season being identified as a significant contributing factor. The cold weather, increased holiday indulgence, reduced physical activity, and heavy clothing that obscures our body shape, all lead to weight gain. This trend has been observed to be on a steady rise every year, and it's crucial to take action and address what causes people to gain weight. Moreover, research conducted in the USA and UK has revealed that individuals tend to gain approximately 3.6kg in weight from December 20th until the end of January.

Skipping hotel meals to save calories can be challenging, especially with buffet options or family gatherings filled with tempting, delicious food. It's a tough and stressful situation, particularly when you're on a diet or close to achieving your fitness objectives.

However, it's important to remember that food is not the enemy. It's essential to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to function correctly. Instead of skipping meals, try to make healthier choices. Opt for lean protein, vegetables, and whole grains. If you're attending a buffet, start with a salad or vegetable soup to fill up on fiber and nutrients before indulging in other options. Additionally, practice mindful eating by savoring every bite and putting your fork down between each one. Finally, don't forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. With these modifications, you can still enjoy holiday meals while staying on track with your health and fitness goals.

6 Helpful Tips to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

Let's talk about 6 Useful Tips to Prevent Weight Gain on Holiday detailed. By following these tips, you can enjoy your vacation while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

1. Plan Ahead & Eat Mindfully: Before you go on holiday, plan out your meals and snacks. This will help you stay on track and avoid overeating.
Practice Moderation: While it's okay to indulge in your favorite treats and drinks on vacation, be mindful of portion sizes and practice moderation. Listen to your body and stop eating when you feel full.

The Benefits of Mindful Eating: Mindful eating involves making deliberate food choices, being mindful of physical and emotional hunger and satiety signals, and eating healthily in response to these indicators. Eating with awareness, paying attention to how food affects our senses, and acknowledging our bodily and emotional reactions to eating are all part of the process. Consequently, adopting a mindful approach during meals can help us feel fuller and more satisfied.

healthy eating

2. Eat Regularly: Eating regular meals and snacks throughout the day will help keep your blood sugar levels stable and prevent you from overeating. When you skip meals or go too long between meals, your body can feel starved and crave high-calorie, high-sugar foods. This can lead to overeating and weight gain. By eating regularly, you keep your metabolism active and your body fueled with the energy it needs to function properly.
Try to eat small, healthy meals every 2-3 hours, and include a mix of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This will help you maintain steady blood sugar levels, feel satisfied throughout the day, and avoid unhealthy snacking. Remember, food is fuel for your body, and it's important to give it the nourishment it needs to keep you healthy and energized.

3. Choose Healthy Options: When you're away from home, it can be tempting to indulge in unhealthy foods. However, try to choose healthy options whenever possible. Look for grilled meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains and avoid consuming unhealthy foods. Additionally, these foods can help you to feel fuller for longer periods, reducing your chances of overeating or snacking on unhealthy foods later in the day. So, next time you're out and about, make a conscious effort to choose healthy options and fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive.
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4. Stay Active:  It's easy to fall out of your exercise routine while on vacation, but staying active is important for your health. Try to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, such as going for a walk or swimming.
While it's tempting to lounge around and relax on holiday, staying active can help you feel more energized and refreshed. Whether you're exploring a new city on foot, hitting the beach for a swim, or trying out a new adventure sport, there are plenty of ways to stay active and have fun while on vacation. Not only will staying active help you maintain your fitness level, but it can also help you feel more connected to your surroundings and make the most of your time away. So, pack some comfortable shoes and clothes, and get ready to explore and stay active on your next holiday!

Looking for a fun way to stay active after indulging in a high-calorie meal with loved ones? Try creating games that get everyone moving! These activities can even involve your children, making it a fun and healthy bonding experience for the whole family.

Fun Game Ideas for Family Time or Children's Entertainment:

  1. Chair Grab - a dancing game where one chair is removed each round, and the person left standing is out.

  2. Sculptor Game - players use their body to create different shapes.

  3. Camel-Dwarf - players must stand up when the "Camel" command is given and crouch down when the "Dwarf" command is given. This can be a great squat exercise.

  4. Yes-No Game - if anyone says the word "Yes" or "No," they must perform push-ups or jumping jacks as punishment.

  5. Bear, Cockroach, Plank - who can hold out the longest?

  6. Follow the Leader - encourage kids to create challenging movements for adults to follow.

fun games to move at home

5. Drink Water: Staying hydrated is key to avoiding weight gain. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated and your metabolism running. Bring a refillable water bottle with you and aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
It can help improve your complexion, reduce headaches, and even boost your mood. It's important to drink water consistently throughout the day, especially during and after exercise. If you find it difficult to drink plain water, try adding some sliced fruit or herbs to flavor it. Remember, drinking water is a simple yet effective way to improve your overall health and well-being.

6. Get Enough Sleep: Make sure to get enough sleep while on holiday. Lack of sleep can lead to increased hunger and cravings.
Not only that, but lack of sleep can also leave you feeling lethargic and unmotivated to participate in the fun activities that you have planned for your vacation. It's important to prioritize rest and relaxation to ensure that you have the energy and enthusiasm to make the most of your time off. Consider setting a regular sleep schedule and sticking to it, even while on holiday. This will not only help with hunger and cravings, but also improve your overall mood and well-being during your trip.

sleep enough on holidays

In summary, to prevent weight gain while on vacation, plan out meals and snacks, choose healthier options and eat regularly, stay active, drink water, and get enough sleep. Eating regularly and selecting grilled protein, vegetables, and salads can keep blood sugar levels stable. Staying hydrated keeps the metabolism running smoothly. Exercise and getting enough sleep can also prevent overeating.

I'm crossing my fingers that when you come back from vacation, you'll be just as healthy and happy as ever! Have a blast, my darlings - make every moment count!


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References Fahey, M. C., Klesges, R. C., Kocak, M., Wang, J., Talcott, G. W., & Krukowski, R. A. (2019). Do the holidays impact weight and self-weighing behaviour among adults engaged in a behavioural weight loss intervention?. Obesity research & clinical practice, 13(4), 395-397.

Mulumba, P. 12 Ways To Prevent Holiday Weight Gain This December.

Timmerman, G. M., & Brown, A. (2012). The effect of a mindful restaurant eating intervention on weight management in women. Journal of nutrition education and behavior, 44(1), 22-28.

Mulumba, P. 12 Ways To Prevent Holiday Weight Gain This December.

Warren, J. M., Smith, N., & Ashwell, M. (2017). A structured literature review on the role of mindfulness, mindful eating and intuitive eating in changing eating behaviours: effectiveness and associated potential mechanisms. Nutrition research reviews, 30(2), 272-283.

Yanovski, J. A., Yanovski, S. Z., Sovik, K. N., Nguyen, T. T., O'Neil, P. M., & Sebring, N. G. (2000). A prospective study of holiday weight gain. New England Journal of Medicine, 342(12), 861-867.

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