Weighing-In on Holiday Eating

Avoiding holiday weight gain

Every health and fitness article around this time of year talks about how to avoid weight gain during the holidays. It is said that the average American gains seven pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's. All the usual suggestions about watching portion sizes, never arriving to a party hungry, saying "no" to second helpings, squeezing in workout time and healthier alternatives to seasonal and traditional dishes (such as my favorite, string bean casserole) are great ways to help avoid holiday weight gain. But what about the most obvious way to stay on top of your weight during the holidays: weighing yourself?

The scale is a great tool for keeping track of how much you are eating and whether or not you need to cut back and/or exercise a bit more. According to The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), which was developed to identify and investigate the characteristics of individuals who have succeeded at long-term weight loss, 75 percent of Registry participants weigh themselves at least once a week (with many weighing in daily). So don't put away that scale till after the New Year —  do what Registry participants do and use it as an early warning system.

Stepping on the scale frequently during the holiday season will provide excellent and honest feedback as to whether or not you are indulging a bit too much. If you see a weight gain, address it right away before it turns into those "seasonal seven pounds."

The holidays are a fun time to enjoy with family and friends, and it is possible to enjoy without gaining weight. Remember that the holidays are days just like the rest of the year. Make a commitment to yourself to stay balanced when it comes to eating and exercise and to maintain all the ways you create a healthy lifestyle for yourself year-round.


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