Answers to Common Holiday Health Questions

Premier Physician Network providers answer frequently asked questions about holiday health.

What are small steps people can take to reduce their risk for weight gain during the holidays?

During the holiday season it can be easy for people to focus too much on the sweets and treats and to slip into a relaxed attitude about weight gain. Fortunately, there are some small steps you can take to help reduce your risk of gaining weight while still enjoying the holidays. Clemson UniversityOff Site Icon (CU) and the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionOff Site Icon (CDC) recommend the following:

  • Avoid drinking your calories by drinking alcohol in moderation
  • Balance your day’s meals by planning smaller, healthier meals earlier in the day if you want to indulge a bit at an evening event
  • Choose socializing or participating in activities as a priority at gathering before food
  • Don’t skip regular meals
  • Don’t stand near the appetizers or buffet table to socialize because it can become difficult to avoid grazing
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day
  • Fill up with a healthy snack before heading to a party
  • Find time to fit in workouts and add extra activity – even extra steps – whenever you can
  • Save calories by choosing to avoid dessert or opting for a low-calories option
  • Take fresh fruits and veggies to contribute to a party so that you know you’ll have a healthy option
  • Use a small plate to stick with a smaller portion
  • Wait 20 minutes before going for second helpings of food to decide if you are truly hungry for more

For more information about small changes you can make to help reduce your risk of holiday weight gain, talk with your doctor.

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Source: Joseph Allen, MD, Family Medicine of Vandalia; Ann DeClue, MD, Ann DeClue, MD; Andrew Diller, MD, Brookville Family Care; Joshua Ordway, MD, Franklin Family Practice; Christopher Lauricella, DO, Family Medicine of Vandalia