Your Cart

Your cart is empty

Continue shopping
Skip to main content


Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Jan 23rd 2024

Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

40986599_pAccording to the National Institutes of Health the average American adult gains one pound every holiday season. Those who are already overweight tend to gain even more. Unfortunately that weight is usually there to stay; holiday weight gain is the primary reason weight creeps upwards with age.

With so many reasons to overeat during the holidays, it’s surprising we don’t gain more.

The holidays are traditionally a time for feasting and drinking. But historically, this occurred in the context of food scarcity; many pilgrims starved to death before food sources were established, and abundance was something to be celebrated. We hardly need to celebrate food abundance today, but that hasn’t stopped us from bringing out the cookies, cakes and pies for the holidays. We combine this with alcohol, which impairs inhibitions, stimulates appetite and intensifies the brain’s reward center in response to food!

Then there’s stress. Our already challenging to-do lists expand during the holidays, making it easy to become more stressed-out, tired and sleep-deprived than ever—more stimuli for overeating.

A discrepancy between hopes of getting our emotional needs met, versus the reality of feeling isolated or being in an awkward or dysfunctional social situation, easily leads to emotional overeating.

So be prepared:

  1. Don’t over schedule. You don’t have to go just because you’re invited. Hardly anything is more important than a good night’s sleep and alone-time for self renewal.
  1. Get regular, healthy meals so you’re not starving when confronted by cookies. Carry raw nuts for hunger attacks. If you succumb to cookies and start to crave more, eat the nuts to stabilize your blood sugar and prevent more cookie-eating.
  1. If attending a potluck, bring a crudité platter that you will share with others. If your host is preparing the meal, check beforehand to make sure there will be some things you can eat.
  1. Drink lots of water; half an hour before eating, or 2½ hours after is best.
  1. Enjoy one glass of wine, maybe two, period.
  1. Limit yourself to a very small serving of a sweet you really love and . . . savor it.
  1. When possible, choose to be with people who make you feel good about yourself, life, and your healthy choices.
  1. If you get upset, take time out to be gentle and caring with yourself. What would really satisfy you, comfort you, make you feel loved, bolster your self-esteem? Write about it, talk to a friend, meditate, pray, take a walk, or vigorously chew gum.  Accepting your feelings fully, without judging them or trying to figure them out is a very satisfying act of self-love.
  1. Don’t stint on supplements or exercise. Stress chews up nutrients, and nutrient deficiency primes you for overeating. Exercise alleviates stress.

What it boils down to is taking good care of yourself. All of us at Beyond Health hope that you take excellent care of yourself this year . . . which is the best way to have Happy Holidays!


  1. Shoeller DA. The effect of holiday weight gain on body weight. Physiology and Behavior. July 2014;134:66-69.
  1. Chapman CD. Lifestyle determinants of the drive to eat. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. July 2012;96(3):492-497.
  2. Orchant R. 15 times crudite’ was the most beautiful thing on the table.  The Huffington Post. November 20, 2013.





Information contained in NewsClips articles should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.