picture of holiday weight gain

It is a common problem that people gain weight during the holidays. It turns out though that we may not gain as much as we think. The common belief is 3-5 lbs is normal for the holiday season but it turns out (according to a study by the National Institute of Child Health and Development) that the average gain is much closer to one pound. Unfortunately the study also found that weight gained during this period is not generally lost in the year that follows.

  • So the good news is we don’t gain as much weight.
  • The bad news is the weight we do gain stays with us from year to year.


1. Set a weight loss goal prior to Thanksgiving
The majority of the weight gain found during the holiday period was in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years. If you work to be five pounds down before that period then you can come out of the period neutral (or even ahead). If you need some strategies to help achieve this goal check out:


2. Add in an extra 30 min of cardio a week
This could be 10 minutes extra per session or one extra session a week. In the Midwest especially we are moving less in the winter months so working to increase your activity levels during this period will help significantly.

3. Eat before functions
Most events during this time from office parties to family gatherings are centered around food so be sure to not show up hungry. Try to eat lean protein or vegetables prior to any gathering that involves high caloric foods. You will be better able to control portions if you are not starving.

4. Make good choices
Life without ever having dessert is boring. So make sure you do allow yourself a few good meals during this time but make sure that the rest of the time you are sticking to the healthy patterns you have adopted the rest of the year. Restricting all the time can lead to cravings and binging behavior. So enjoy yourself at the holiday party but the next day clean it up and get a workout in.

Good luck and please feel free to write-in and we can help with custom solutions to your individual problems!