Holiday Survival Plan: Tips to prevent weight gain during the toughest time of the year to stay on track!

Did you know???

The average person consumes more than 4,000 calories and 229 calories of fat from a typical Thanksgiving gathering, from appetizers to the main course. The average holiday dinner has about 3,000 calories and between 1,000 to 1,500 extra calories that can be easily added between snacks, side dishes, and drinks. This is over 2 times more than your recommended daily intake of calories.

There are things you can do to stay on track during the holidays and prevent the extra weight gain.  One easy way is to swap some of the traditional recipes, that are loaded with extra fat and calories, with healthier options.

Try using these recipes:

Here are some great tips to stay on track:

  • Focus on the true meaning of the holidays, spending quality time with loved ones, instead of food!
  • Remember the plate method & load up on the veggies!
  • Use a smaller plate.
  • Slow down: remember your brain is 15 minutes behind your belly.
  • Drink lots of water!
  • Don’t hangout by the food tables. Grazing throughout the day leads to over consumption.
  • Carry a water cup with you so you only have one hand to eat with.
  • Prepare for handling your worst temptations: split a dessert with a friend or family member instead of having a whole piece yourself.
  • Offer to bring a healthy dish to a holiday party such as hummus and veggie platter.
  • After the meal, start an active tradition such as a holiday walk.
  • Get your sweat in! Workout before your holiday meal just in case you are too tired after.
  • Don’t skip meals – arriving at a holiday party hungry will lead to overeating, while drinking on an empty stomach will give you a quicker buzz, which will lead to careless munching. Eat your regular meals throughout the day and make smarter choices.
  • Drink responsibly – Alcohol can interfere with your blood sugar by slowing the release of glucose into the bloodstream; it also contains a lot of calories – 89 calories per glass of white wine or champagne, 55 calories in a shot of vodka, and 170 calories in a pint of stout beer

Healthy Substitutions:

  • Mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes
  • Roasted sweet potatoes instead of sweet potato casserole
  • Try our stuffing recipe made with whole grains
  • Take skin off the turkey
  • Swap out bone broth for chicken broth (provides additional protein)
  • Skip the rolls and load up on the raw veggies
  • Opt for 100% whole grain rolls instead of refined white roll
  • Switch out sour cream with plain greek yogurt in dips, casseroles, or mashed potatoes

About the author

Nicole Aucoin, MS, RD, LD/N

Founder, Healthy Steps Nutrition
Home of CrossFit HSN & HSN Mentoring

Author of Nourish & Healthy Kids Cookbook

Author of The Basics of Nutrition Coaching Course, CrossFit Preferred Nutrition Course

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer