7 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

a woman weighing herself during the holidays


As the holidays start to roll around, a common concern for many adults is weight gain. With hectic schedules, added stress, and the tendency for many holidays to center around food, the end of the year holidays can be a struggle for anybody. The good news is learning how to avoid gaining weight over the holidays doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may seem.

In this guide, we’re looking at 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain and keep you on track for a healthy lifestyle. While we know it’s easy to overindulge here and there, these tips to avoid holiday weight gain are easy adjustments you can make keeping yourself on track easier.

How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

The first thing to remember about learning to avoid holiday weight gain is that if you overdo it at an event, it’s not the end of the world. It’s easy to start making more poor choices that lead to accidental weight gain when we focus too much on the first time we slipped up from our plan. While enjoying everything in moderation is a key element in how to avoid gaining weight over the holidays, if you overindulge once, let it go.

Other tips to avoid holiday weight gain include:

  • Find active ways to spend time with family and friends
  • Watch your snacks
  • Avoid taste testing too much
  • Monitor your portion sizes
  • Learn to manage stress levels during the holidays
  • Consider ways to improve digestion
  • Get enough sleep during the holidays

Staying Active During the Holidays

The first item in our list of tips to avoid holiday weight gain is staying active during the holidays. It’s easy for many holidays to lend themselves to more sedentary activities such as watching tv, sitting around on the couch visiting, or hanging at the table snacking on sweets. While we love catching up with friends and family at gatherings, there are other holiday activities you could participate in, as well, to help you get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity each week.

For example, if you live in a climate where you see a lot of snowfall, going sledding can be a fun and active way to spend time together. Feeling a little less adventurous? A family walk can be just as effective for how to avoid holiday weight gain!

Watch Your Intake of Holiday Snacks

Another tip to avoid holiday weight gain is to watch your intake of holiday snacks. The holiday season tends to be filled with cookies, sweets, and other snacks that could lead to unintentional weight gain. While enjoying a treat in moderation may be fine, overindulging can be a slippery slope.

To help yourself out, consider healthy holiday snacks to have on hand instead. In place of cookies, having a selection of nuts available is a popular holiday snack that contains healthy fats. Having an array of fruits or vegetables around for healthy holiday snacks may also help you avoid holiday weight gain. When it comes to sweets, out of sight helps to be out of mind.

Skip the “Taste Tests” to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

While you may be good at how many cookies you eat after they’re made, next up on our list of tips to avoid holiday weight gain is to skip the taste testing, too. Those small bites of brownies, cookies, or cakes may seem like they don’t do any harm, but they add up quicker than you realize! If you’re doing lots of baking for the holiday season, suddenly all those taste tests are turning into regular overindulging.

Portion Control During the Holidays

Portion control is an essential part of how to prevent obesity for people of any age and lifestyle. During the holidays, however, it becomes all the more easy to lose track of how much we’re eating and to regularly overdo it. As a method for how to avoid gaining weight over the holidays, you might consider practicing mindful eating.

What is mindful eating? Mindful eating is the act of eating without distractions. This could be making sure you’re not on your phone while you’re eating or trying to multitask while finishing up those cookies for the holiday party. Studies have shown that eating while distracted causes you to be more likely to overeat than if you’re present in the moment. Chewing more slowly and thoroughly has also been shown to help your mind recognize fullness signals, helping you consume fewer overall calories than if you were distracted.

Managing Holiday Stress

We can’t talk about tips to avoid holiday weight gain without discussing managing holiday stress. While we all encounter stress in our everyday lives, the holidays come with added stress for many people. Our already-hectic schedules suddenly become filled with additional party invitations, family gatherings, and things to do like baking, wrapping gifts, or decorating the house. It’s enough to cause anyone stress!

Finding ways to manage holiday stress can make a huge difference in both your mental and physical health. There are a variety of stress related health problems you can fix including helping you avoid holiday weight gain and potentially stave off those “winter blues.”

One of the biggest (and sometimes most challenging) things we can do for managing stress to avoid holiday weight gain is learning to say no. While we might want to make every gathering, take on every task, or help out everyone who asks, sometimes we simply can’t make it happen. That’s okay! Learning to say no is a skill that can make a major difference in how you feel.

Another method for managing holiday stress is learning how to meditate at home. Meditation has been shown to be beneficial for managing stress, providing pain relief, and elevating your mood. Meditating can be done in as little as five minutes from absolutely anywhere. For example, creating a zen spot in your living room with a zero gravity chair gives you the opportunity to take care of your mind and body simultaneously. Zero gravity meditation may boost the effects of meditating at home, not only helping manage stress that can help avoid holiday weight gain, but improving poor circulation and enhancing how the body heals itself.

Other ways for managing holiday stress you can do include getting a full body workout to alleviate stress, planning ahead, and scheduling out your days to block off times for specific activities according to priority.

Improving Digestion Over the Holidays

Finding ways to improve digestion may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of how to avoid holiday weight gain, but it can make a big difference! Digestive issues are extremely common and can stem from any number of things from stress to disease. Bad sitting habits or other external catalysts like sleep deprivation can all exacerbate the issue and lead to accidental weight gain over the holidays.

Different ways to improve digestion include:

  • Managing stress levels
  • Getting better sleep
  • Increasing blood flow
  • Reducing pressure on the digestive tract

If you’re using a zero gravity chair for managing holiday stress, you may be helping improve digestion at the same time! In the zero gravity position, pressure is reduced on the lower back and pelvic region, which may help your digestive tract function more efficiently, especially after a holiday meal. 

Avoid Holiday Weight Gain By Getting Better Sleep

Last on our list of tips to avoid holiday weight gain is by getting better sleep. The holidays may keep you busy from morning to night, but making sure you’re getting both enough sleep and good quality sleep are important. Studies have shown a correlation between sleep deprivation and being hungrier.

You may choose to help this by instigating a relaxing night time routine such as taking a warm bath, meditating in a zero gravity chair, journaling to unwind your mind, or listening to calming music. Finding ways to unwind before bed can make a huge difference in how you heal while you sleep, waking up feeling more rested, and your overall well being.

We hope this guide has given you plenty of tips to avoid holiday weight gain. Some of the top ways to avoid gaining weight during the holidays comes from paying close attention to your actions and making small adjustments to accommodate your needs. From avoiding too many of those taste tests to choosing a zero gravity chair for alleviating stress, these simple changes are things anyone can do. Try some of these techniques out and enjoy the holidays this year!

Want to learn more about the potential health benefits of zero gravity chairs and how they fit your needs? Check out these resources: