Tips for Beating the Holiday Weight Gain Blues This Christmas

1) Separate food from emotion. The holidays are a wonderful time to reunite with family and friends and celebrate special traditions, but be aware of the food-emotion connection that is especially dominant during this special season. If all of your family traditions revolve around food, you may need to make a few new traditions so the focus is on relationships and sentiment, rather than only on food.

2) Get a grip on holiday stress. Plan ahead: make to do lists, take alternate routes to avoid busy holiday traffic, don’t wait to the last minute to do holiday shopping, delegate cooking and baking chores when possible. The less stress, the more you can enjoy the holiday and the less likely you will be to engage in stress eating,

3) Draw your strength and enjoyment from the true meaning of the season.

4) Volunteer at a shelter or donate toys during a children’s gift drive. Stepping outside of yourself can help put things in perspective.

5) Think it through. Before you sit down to that holiday party buffet or Christmas dinner, visualize yourself taking small portions, turning down second helpings and taking only a sliver of pie. Imagine how strong and determined you will be as you handle those fattening temptations. Psych yourself out for success.

6) Wear snug fitting clothes so you will feel uncomfortable if you eat too much. Unbuttoning your pants to let your gut hang out is never attractive.

7) "Smaller size me." When you eat on a smaller plate, you create the visual effect of more food. You will eat enough to satisfy your hunger without over-indulging. Slowly eat small portions of those holiday "must haves" and wait at least 15-20 minutes to see if you are still hungry before eating more. If eating on a different plate is not an option, space your servings out so that the plate is covered with smaller portions of food.

8) Remember: Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels. Yes, food tastes good. But, keep in mind that you will get to eat every day of your life- for the rest of your life. Save some for later.

9) Think ahead. The holidays only last for so long, but there’s no need to keep a souvenir of extra weight gain. Imagine that traditional post- feasting hop on the scale. How will you respond to a rise? To a decrease? To no change? You determine your future and it starts now.

10) Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, but keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.

11) Eat healthy snacks and mini meals throughout the day. This will help you avoid the dreaded starvation binge.

12) Have fun! Allow yourself to relax in your confidence and your ability to make the right decisions.

13) Look for more tips online at

Melinda Rice is a fitness consultant and writer based in Northern California. She manages Successful Fitness (, a personal training program that incorporates concepts of psychology, nutrition, wellbeing and fitness into a Lifestyle Transformation plan. You can reach her at

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  • Name: Melinda Rice, CPT
  • Date: 01/10/06 at 11:35
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