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The #1 Best Way to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain, Says Dietitian

Our expert shares the secret to avoiding weight gain while still enjoying holiday treats.

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it's the most tempting as well. The holiday season can be an incredible time full of family and friends, your favorite activities, and tons of parties and festivities, but it's also one of the easiest seasons for your weight loss goals to unravel.

That doesn't mean you have to pick between enjoying your holiday and losing weight. To learn more about how to have your holiday cake and eat it too, we talked with registered dietitian Laura Burak, MS, RD, author of Slimdown with Smoothies, and founder of Laura Burak Nutrition, about how she helps her clients stay on track during these months.

And according to Burak, the #1 best way to prevent holiday weight gain is by creating balance in your life and indulging when it's worth it. 

Continue reading to learn about incorporating more balance into your diet, and for more healthy eating ideas, make sure to check out 65 Cozy Comfort Foods for Weight Loss.

Why we worry about holiday weight gain

holiday meal

"With the holidays quickly approaching, the anticipation of an excess of everything, mostly lots of food and drinks, can send you into a panic before the celebrations even begin," says Burak.

Temptation, temptation everywhere…

Those who love this time of year are also fully aware that temptation will be around every corner, and this can be a scary thing, especially because the list of causes behind holiday weight gain is lengthy.

For one, you'll face many more opportunities to eat more foods loaded with fat, refined carbs, and added sugars at your holiday parties and family gatherings. And eating too much of these processed foods without fresh, whole foods can lead to weight gain.

Our busy schedules can leave little time to look for healthy options

Another common thing that happens to us during the holidays is our schedules fill up, and we find ourselves grabbing more foods on the go, which can sometimes mean more processed foods and pulling through the drive-through to get fast food.

Couple these with the fact that many of us feel like moving our bodies less when the weather gets colder, and you've got a recipe for holiday weight gain.

Staying on track this holiday season

holiday desserts

Thankfully, there are ways to still enjoy your holiday and all the treats it has to offer, while also staying on track with your health goals.

"When it comes to more celebrations and indulgent food over the holidays, it is all about creating balance," says Burak.

"Instead of just throwing your hands up again this holiday season, you may feel the best you ever have for the new year with these few tips," she adds.

Burak recommends these three things:

  • Keep your healthy habits stable, like moving every day
  • Hydrate with enough water
  • Be mindful of what you're eating and doing

If you can follow these recommendations, you'll be on your way to preventing the dreaded holiday weight gain.

Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha