10 Tips to Maintain Your Weight Loss Over the Holidays

MedWeight, Lasers & Wellness Centers, weight loss, Dr. Wu

The holidays herald a time of gathering with loved ones, gift giving, parties, and delicious baked goods, but when you mix in the inevitable stress, weight gain around the waistline tends to happen. From November to the start of the New Year, women gain an average of one pound while men gain an average of two pounds.

We at MedWeight and Lasers know that many people struggle with maintaining their weight loss over the holidays and shedding holiday weight as the New Year begins. Holiday weight gain doesn’t have to be an inevitability with these 10 tips.


1. Get active with loved ones.

Many families engage in more sedentary activities over the holidays, such as playing a board game or watching sports. Inactivity is linked to weight gain, particularly after excessive consumption of food.

Engaging in some physical activity during the holidays with your loved ones may benefit weight control. Introduce the family walk as a new activity to get out of the house and bond. Why not sign up for a marathon or walk in the parade with your workplace as a sponsor? Why not break out the soccer ball and go into the backyard for a friendly game?


2. Snack wisely.

You get hungry while the family cooks, so any potluck gathering usually has its fair share of appetizers. Sometimes, stress leads to snacking when you aren’t hungry. Move to another area where food won’t tempt you, and if you feel tempted, choose foods such as seeds, fruits, and vegetables.


3. Keep healthy portions in mind.

The holidays permit you to indulge because that’s what everybody else does. Memorize easy ways to measure your food, such as comparing the proper portion size to a closed fist or a deck of playing cards. Another option is eating off of a smaller plate and making sure your food doesn’t touch, which means taking it easy on the gravy.


4. Eat mindfully.

Rushing from one event to the other and preparing various meals leads to risky multitasking in which case you don’t always consider what and how much you eat. Those who are distracted tend to overeat since they fail to ignore the body’s feelings of fullness. Eat mindfully, and don’t let distractions leave you wondering where that whole pecan pie went.

Chew slowly and thoroughly. This approach enables you to better understand what your body is telling you, so you can avoid the over-consumption of calories.


5. Make sleep a priority.

Sleep deprivation commonly occurs during the holidays, resulting in crankier and hungrier folks. Sleep restriction may boost your hormone levels, leading you to consume more calories than you need. Adequate sleep maintains your metabolism and other bodily functions, so make sleep a priority.


6. Manage stress levels.

The holidays bring unwelcome and heightened stress levels, raising cortisol levels. Cortisol releases as a hormonal response to stress, and cortisol levels that are too high can lead to weight gain.

Remain vigilant in managing your stress levels during the holidays when you feel plagued by additional tasks and haunted by delicious, unhealthy food. Say “no” when you know you’re overwhelmed and delegate tasks to other loved ones. Make time for yourself.


7. Balance meals with protein.

Holiday meals are traditionally heavier in carbohydrates than protein. However, you can maintain your weight loss and balance meals by including some protein on your plate to reduce appetite and hunger, boosting your metabolism. Good protein sources include poultry, meat, fish, quinoa, and beans.


8. Focus on fiber.

Another nutrient that promotes feelings of satiation is fiber, which can improve your gut health and reduce calorie intake. If your holiday visits don’t typically include fiber, contribute a dish with plenty of fiber, substituting nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.


9. Reduce taste testing.

An often overlooked culprit of holiday weight gain is taste testing. By the end of the day, you may have consumed an entire meal. Keep sampling under a teaspoon.


10. Support your dietary needs.

At holiday gatherings, you typically have no control over what’s being served. If you’re taking dishes to parties, make ones that align with your health needs and goals.

Support your dietary needs by taking your own snacks and making healthy choices as the holiday set in, so that you allow yourself a few controlled indulgences. Pie matters.


Maintaining weight loss during the holidays challenges even the most determined, but introducing new traditions like a family walk or healthier spins on favorite meals will allow you to indulge a little while keeping up with your health goals. Contact Dr. Wu and the team at MedWeight and Lasers for additional tips and solutions on your weight loss journey.

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