Written by Jana Derer, Dietetic Intern

The holiday season should be a time to enjoy good food and great company from family and friends, but it is also a time that can throw us off track a little bit. The average person gains about one to two pounds during the holiday season – which might not seem like a lot but the weight tends to stick around and accumulate over the years.  

Here are some tips that can make this year’s holiday season different:


  • Have a healthy snack before going to a party – this means you are not as hungry and it makes you less likely to overindulge on sweet treats.
  • Bring healthy alternatives to eat – there are lots of recipes online that modify some of your favorite holiday dishes.
  • Eat slowly & enjoy your food – you will feel when you’re getting full & can stop before you feel super stuffed.
  • Look at the buffet beforehand to see what you like – take your favorites & skip over your least favorite this year.
  • Remember to eat your fruits & veggies – they give you important nutrients like vitamins and fiber that will help to keep you healthy & keep you feeling full for longer.


  • Make time for exercise – this can help to relieve stress & keep you on track for your goals.
  • If you have some time off during the holidays, figure out a workout routine that works for you & that you can stick with in the new year!
  • Try some new winter sports with your family this year – ice skating, skiing, sledding, snowshoeing are fun options that get you active while enjoying time with family.
  • Create a fitness tradition – join a holiday themed walk/run to do every year during the holiday season.
  • Include everybody – if you would rather skip the gym than family time, take them with you! Take a fun group class or just show them some of your favorite workouts to do in the gym, they will benefit from the exercise as well!
  • Rake some leaves or shovel snow – it needs to get done anyways & you get some exercise out of it.


  • Aim to maintain your weight instead of losing around the holidays. Maintaining the weight you have lost so far is not a defeat! It takes a lot of work and effort to not fall back into old habits, so be proud of keeping the weight off!
  • Control the risk for temptation – try not to keep tempting foods in your environment at work or home. If Christmas cookies are staring at you & calling your name all day, it is very hard to resist.
  • Learn to say ‘no’ – you don’t have to eat anything you don’t want to (even if your mother-in-law made it)
  • Take the focus off the food – instead of baking cookies & making treats, get together to make some fun holiday decorations this year that you can enjoy for years to come!

But please remember – it is okay to eat a piece of pie & eat the foods you enjoy if you are cautious of the amount you eat and make an effort to stay active.


Adapted from:
http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/lifestyle/holidays/a-healthy-approach-to-holiday-eating https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2014/12/8-tips-for-healthy-holiday-eating-infographic/ http://www.cpmc.org/about/e-health/11-05%20healthy-holidays.html