Stressed about gaining weight during the holidays? These expert tips can help you enjoy the season without gaining weight and blaming yourself later on. It is considered “the most wonderful time of the year


Are you an emotional eater?

If your family is causing you stress and anxiety, try to limit the time you spend with them, or consider announcing a non-texting day (or afternoon) from time to time to help get you out of family interactions. 

Try to plan something fun after the family gathering so you have something positive to look forward to. Staying busy, especially with non-food-related activities ahead of the holiday season, can also be a helpful way to not predict too much about how things will turn out.

That doesn’t mean you have to constantly worry and stress about eating holiday-specific foods at get-togethers and parties. Allow yourself to eat whatever you want, in small portions, as long as you start by adding healthy foods. 

Eat normally and have a snack before going to control hunger. When it comes to alcohol, remember that it can break your will. Eating disorders during the holidays

Planning your meals in advance is incredibly helpful, especially during the holiday season. Try to maintain your normal routine throughout the day, and when you know you’re going to be attending a family gathering or holiday reunion that will feature lots of delicious food, brace yourself.

Don’t Forget To Exhale: When stressed, we tend to forget to exhale, putting the body into an extra state of stress. So remember to take a moment, pause, and focus on your breath. When you do this correctly, your stress levels will immediately drop and you will start to feel better. 

Here are some ideas to help you get through the holiday season without worrying too much about gaining weight:

Plan Ahead: If you are invited to a holiday party or family reunion, bring something light, such as a vegetable plate with spinach and yogurt dip. And remember to eat from that plate before you eat cookies, cakes, or holiday cupcakes.

To Drink Lots Of Water: Some people drink a glass or bottle of water before attending a holiday reunion, and that’s the right thing to do. But when you get to the party, drink another glass or bottle of water before eating. This will help eliminate the “I’m so hungry and have to eat everything in sight” syndrome that happens to most people on holiday.

Monitor Your Alcohol Intake: Speaking of staying hydrated, remember to drink water in between all alcoholic beverages. It will keep you hydrated and slow you down between drinks. It’s easy to taste every dish in front of you, just as easy to taste different alcoholic beverages:

Eggnog, Punch, Wine: Remember that alcohol can sabotage your self-control and make you think you still have room in your stomach for a few more slices of cake.

Eat slowly: Are you one of those people who fill their plate with lots of delicious treats and eat them like it’s a competition? Slow down and remember that this is not a race. Eating too fast is one of the main reasons people overeat. 

It can take 15-20 minutes for the brain to send a signal to the stomach that you are full and need to stop eating. And if you’re not careful, during this time you can stuff a lot of food into your stomach.

Less Exercise: Remember to keep moving. Exercise is not only good for your heart and bones, but it’s also good for your mental health. Even a short workout can stimulate the body to produce endorphins, the feel-good hormones. 

Focusing on your yoga routine or jogging in the park can distract you from your current concerns and harm self-talk and make things less overwhelming. Unfortunately, as the colder months come, many people stop exercising and start eating more.

 Don’t fall into this trap. Instead, aim to move for 30 minutes a day. Before you say your schedule doesn’t have an extra 30 minutes, break it up into three 10-minute chunks. Simply stretching in the morning and before bed and suggesting a walk with loved ones can be helpful.

Consider Cutting Calories Intermittently: Reducing your food intake before a family gathering or holiday party or the next day not only helps with weight loss (and weight maintenance), but studies show there are other benefits, including mentally sharper, McQuillan said. 

If you want to try this method, McQuillan recommends having “light” foods ready (like hard-boiled eggs, fruit, and Greek yogurt) so you don’t overeat when you eat them again. Aim for 12 to 14 hours between your last meal and the next. McQuillan issues this warning:

“Fasting doesn’t work for many people because they become voracious and overeat at the next meal.”

Take the time to enjoy the holidays and attend family gatherings and parties without fear of gaining too much weight. When you plan ahead and have the right attitude, you’ll be able to focus on the fun and not on the bad food.