How to Stop Holiday Weight Gain from Snowballing

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It’s virtually impossible to fast or even diet your way through the holiday season in order to avoid the dreaded – holiday weight gain. Saying no to homemade Christmas pudding is as difficult for adults as it is for kids saying no to getting presents from Santa.

How to stop holiday weight gain from getting out of control. Tips and tricks for your next party. Avoid the dreaded sholiday weight gain once and for all! | | #shiftwork #nightshiftmeals #suvivingshiftwork #thanksgiving #Christmas

The festive season is undeniably delicious but is full of temptation our health and waistline end up paying for. Totally not fair I know!

Free work Christmas Party lunches, constant drinks and nibbles and Christmas markets happening every weekend make meal planning almost unmanageable. You want to try everything and ‘get into the Christmas spirit’ but end up loosening your pants in the car on the way home due to a painful stomach ache.

The funny thing is, statistics show we are hanging out for the new year so we can get back on track with our health and kick-start those ‘weight loss’ resolutions.

We want this festive season to be different! I’m going to empower you to know the traps to avoid holiday weight gain this Christmas!
How to Stop Holiday Weight Gain from Snowballing _ The Other Shift _ Surprise man wearing Santa costume

How to Stop Holiday Weight Gain from Snowballing

Ignore Social Pressure

“Oh! Come on, just one more, it’s Christmas time!”

Talk about making us feel guilty…

We are often pressured into things we don’t want to do when it comes to eating and drinking around the holiday season. 

Going halves in another piece of pumpkin pie, sharing an uber when you really want to drive and being teased for drinking water instead of eggnog is just the beginning. 

If you’re like us, we have multiple events we must attend on Christmas day. There is an unspoken rule where you must eat at both or else it is considered rude. Sounds familiar? 

Don’t be afraid to use a smaller plate at both events, eat slowly and say “no, thanks” if it is all getting too much.

It’s totally okay to stick to your health goals. Your eating habits will not ruin their holiday season. 

Be Aware of the Temptations

The trick is to make eating at Christmas parties hard for yourself.

Don’t stand within arms reach of the appetizers and better yet, chat to somebody who’s visually blocking the food table. Out of sight out of mind, right?

When the nibbles platter does make it to you, have one at a time – instead of by the handful or making yourself a little plate for convenience.

If your hosting, make sure you put ample amounts of fruit like grapes, pears, strawberries, and apples onto the nibbles platter. Then try dipping these into the hummus instead of a biscuit. 

Skip the bread too. Do you really need it? You’ve had bread before and you certainly will again. 

Pick your favorite sugary indulgence and really enjoy it – but don’t feel the need to sample the entire dessert table. Don’t worry, the next party will have the cream covered pastry puffs. 

If you really can’t choose, take a tiny sample from everything using a smaller plate.  

Do you really need that second helping of mashed potato just because everyone else is? After round one, chill out for a few minutes, drink some water and chat to those around you. I bet that hunger feeling subsides after 15 minutes. 

Everyone loves a coffee at the end of the day. But avoid holiday weight gain by steering clear of full cream coffees and chai lattes as they are packed with hidden sugar! Why not help out your digestive system and enjoy a peppermint or green tea instead?

How to Stop Holiday Weight Gain from Snowballing _ The Other Shift _ Multiple plates of food-min

Add More Exercise into Your Day 

You will overindulge this festive season. We are humans after all! But the key is to exercise a little more than usual in order to stop these extra calories turning into another dress size.

Set your alarm and wake up “early-ish” to complete a morning workout (if your schedule allows). There is absolutely no way you’re completing a solid exercise workout after the party, so our tip is to just get it done before. 

For those on an early shift, consider packing your activewear and hit the gym/running track/pool straight after work. It will leave you plenty of time to get ready for an evening party. You’ll probably get a little nap in too!  

If you can’t make it to the gym, try desk exercises or even use a jump rope if you’re pushed for time.  

For those with a pet, use them for some inspiration! They are always up for an early morning run around. 

How to Stop Holiday Weight Gain from Snowballing _ The Other Shift _ dog wearing Christmas hat

Drink a Ton of Water and Never Show Up Hungry

Drinking water makes us feel full (and helps cure a hangover!). So, whilst getting ready and just before you leave for the party, have a few large glasses of water and maybe a small snack before leaving the house. 

Never show up starving by “saving” your calories and ‘stomach space’. It’s dangerous “pig-out” territory and can lead to weight gain. Sure, limiting what you eat before the event is totally fine but just make sure it doesnt result in eating 3x what you would normally eat once you arrive.

If you plan on having a few alcoholic drinks at the event, make sure to drink a glass of water between each one.  Your liver will thank me. Plus, it helps digestion and makes you feel full. 

When drinking alcohol, take the low-calorie option if available and drink vodka, lime and soda or vodka cranberry. There is a bucket load less sugar in those drinks over wine and champagne. 

Remember to keep up the water when away from the parties too. Carry a drink bottle with some lemon, in your car and at the office and make daily challenges with yourself to refill at least once. 

How to Stop Holiday Weight Gain from Snowballing _ The Other Shift _ two glasses of white wine-min

Stick to Outside Isles of the Grocery Store and Cook Your Own Meals

Did you know the outside isles of the grocery store is where the healthiest food is? Stick to these and don’t let your shopping cart take veer into the middle lanes. 

Fill your cart with veggies, fiber and protein rich foods to keep your digestive health happy. Make a real effort to cook healthy meals at home and avoid the convenience of takeout. 

I know Christmas can be a stressful time of year and all you want is ‘something easy.’ Make it simple for yourself by planning the meals you know you will be at home to avoid the last minute scramble. 

How to Stop Holiday Weight Gain from Snowballing _ The Other Shift | adult-catering-chair

Stress Less

Thoughtful present buying, hectic food organization and managing family dynamics can be tricky this time of year. But that’s all part of the festive season celebrations! 

However, when we’re stressed our hormones can go a little nuts resulting in unwanted weight gain.

If your feeling anxious or stressed at the party, take some time to a deep breath and relax. Say hello to the birds and admire the garden instead of emotionally eating your way through the dessert table. 

Also, sticking to a bedtime routine and using sleep aids can help you relax and calm down after an event in order to fall asleep quickly. 

Our tip is to embrace this crazy time of year and focus on what’s important to you. They are the “Happy Holidays” after all! 

How to Stop Holiday Weight Gain from Snowballing _ The Other Shift _ adult-beverage-breakfast

Remember Why You Take Care of You!

Maybe you wanted to fit into those pants?

Or, maybe you wanted to improve your blood pressure and overall health because you were scared of what could happen if you continued down that path…

Whatever your reason is for better health, write it down and attach it on your fridge or in a place you will see it. 

Stick to your guns and prioritize your own health this festive season. We know the temptations are huge, particularly when in a group environment, but you’re strong and smart enough to choose wisely.

You can do this!
How-to-Stop-Holiday-Weight-Gain-from-Snowballing _ The Other Shift _ baby-blur-celebration

Summary: How to Stop Holiday Weight Gain from Snowballing

Avoid holiday weight gain by overlooking the sugary temptation and social pressures. 

Fitting in some extra exercise, drinking oodles of water and ignoring the social pressures to be naughty is key to avoiding holiday weight gain. 

How to Stop Holiday Weight Gain from Snowballing -

Focus on the friends and family who you may not have seen all year, instead of what food you haven’t tried yet. The festive holiday season is full of traps for gaining weight and temptation WILL exist. But it doesn’t have to result in an embarrassing weight blow out. 

We would love to hear how you avoid holiday weight gain over the festive season. Let us know below! 

Happy Holidays!

Next up – There is a Wrong Way to Weigh Yourself. How to Avoid Self Sabotage


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Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure and privacy statement for more info.

Emma @ The Other Shift

Hey there! I'm Emma Smith a passionate, Registered Nurse from Australia. Together with my husband Daniel, we run The Other Shift. Our sole aim is to help shift workers and those on unusual schedules find balance between work and life. I understand the challenges of fitting in exercise, maintaining relationships and getting enough quality sleep, but I'm excited to show you that it’s possible to do shift work and still thrive. Read more about us and our story here.

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