One Surefire Way to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
12/11/2009 7:28 AM   :  206 comments   :  35,221 Views

It's the time of year we both love and dread. For people who celebrate, the holidays are a time of joy, fun, volunteering and parties; but they're also associated with overindulgence, sweets and weight gain. Is it possible to stave off weight gain during the holidays without feeling deprived?

I sure think so. Many people manage to survive the holidays without switching belt notches. Some even make it to January and go down a pants size. How do they do it?

In my opinion, treating a holiday like any other day is the best way to avoid winter weight gain. But this article from active.com offers six additional tips to keep the pounds off this winter. One that really stood out to me was tip #6, step on the scale.

"If you're typically weighed down each spring with unwanted pounds, make it a habit to step on the scale once a week (or even every day) throughout the winter months," advises author Suzanne Girard Eberle.

There's something about weighing in that makes us think before we bite or skip the gym. Studies have shown that people who weigh in more often—even daily—maintain their weight loss better than those who weigh themselves less often. How many times have you stopped working out for a couple weeks or knowingly overindulged, then purposely avoided the scale so you wouldn't have to face the music?

Flip that around (commit to weigh yourself regularly, no matter what) and you may decide to make smart choices (i.e. stopping after just one cookie) throughout the holidays to avoid disappointment.

How do you prevent holiday weight gain? Do regular weigh-ins help you stay accountable?


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Comments

  • 206
    I weigh myself daily. Helps to keep me on track and accountable. - 4/9/2012   9:42:04 AM
  • 205
    I am so afraid to weigh myself daily. I will watch how my clothes fit and go from there. Will also keep active. - 11/30/2011   3:09:04 PM
  • 204
    I weigh myself daily .... otherwise get in the trap of eating a cookie or such - even though I write it down. When I weigh daily it seems to help my mental attitude ... don't worry too much about the up and down by 1/2 pound through the week, keeps me on track. Weigh on Monday "officially" and add to Sparkpeople. Can't believe how it's working....have maintained so far, through the holidays. - 12/30/2010   5:09:14 PM
  • 203
    Last year at the second half of October (09) I promised myself I'd be out of the 160s for sure before the turn of the new year. And I was. Then I went back up, and in October this year, I was down again, even lower than December. Now I have just days, and do you know what? I can lose at this time of year, too. It is actually a relief when I do so. - 12/21/2010   7:03:04 PM
  • BECKY033
    202
    I weigh daily just for myself & on Wednesdays for the week ,marking it on my calendar. I track food daily this has been a big help to stay committed & to find out any bad habits I want to change or just fine tune. - 12/11/2010   1:30:22 PM
  • 201
    My goal is to weight once a week, but if I am really feeling anxious I may step on the scale more often. - 12/10/2010   8:56:43 PM
  • LACY610
    200
    I recently read (here on Spark) that weighing in every day can actually hinder your diet, but this article encourages it...which to believe?! - 12/10/2010   5:07:50 PM
  • ETHELMERZ
    199
    I weigh everyday, keep a little calendar booklet, write it down, write down what I ate if it was anything unusual. Also plan my "break" days, and what I'll eat. Sometimes I have coffee and dessert and no meal, that keeps me from gaining too, and the dessert is really all I care about anyway. I don't drink alcohol, so that stuff won't add calories to my day either. Keep working at it!! - 11/27/2010   8:54:45 PM
  • 198
    I eat smaller, lower calorie meals on days when I know the holiday meal will be a splurge. I take smaller than usual portions of foods (since there are usually many more choices, all of them delicious!) and I stop eating when I feel full, regardless of what's still on my plate. If I'm still full, I don't have dessert until there is "room" for it, even if that means taking it home. Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and my second cocktail put me over my daily budget, but the meal didn't. Very impressed, I was. - 11/26/2010   10:44:00 AM
  • 197
    This is a new concept for me. I don't own a scale so I'll need to do the drug store thing to keep on track!!! :-) I am willing do it though as I am one those who usually gain pounds for christmas!!! Also I need to get in the habit of treating the season as a normal !!! - 11/24/2010   6:15:35 PM
  • 196
    Weighing in daily was a new concept to me. Have been reading about it and seeing on TV. So am trying it more often. It seems to be a regulator for me. - 11/24/2010   8:20:44 AM
  • 195
    For the first time in years, I didn't gain ANY weight over Christmas. I treated each day as if it was a regular day, and I didn't even feel like I was missing out! It was excellent! Plus, I didn't feel ill after eating too much at Christmas dinner. - 2/3/2010   1:51:51 PM
  • 194
    I weigh daily, but try not to be concerned if my weight varies up and down a bit. I only record it at SP once a week. - 1/25/2010   3:33:35 PM
  • ATULGARG2
    193
    I always weigh evry Saturday morning after the workout.
    Not loosing does not put me off but some how I wait for Saturday to weigh again. - 1/6/2010   4:22:41 AM
  • 192
    I only weigh in once a month. It keeps me focused and also I don't have a panic attack for the daily ups and downs. I used to weigh in daily and really got upset with my progress. - 1/5/2010   2:17:30 AM
  • 191
    How do you prevent holiday weight gain? Do regular weigh-ins help you stay accountable?

    I am still on vacation and I must say I have eaten foods I would avoid when at home. I with the article about weighing everyday. I have been weighing myself everyday and have done some sort of exercise everyday (mostly yoga) to help burn off the excess calories that I have taken in. According to the scale I am holding. Due to it not being my own, I have a feeling I may have gained one or two lbs but I am happy it is not 5. - 12/31/2009   10:56:05 AM
  • 190
    I really just tried to eat sensibly. I did lose a few pounds, but I also made choices. I did treat myself----once in awhile and I made good choices on what "tasty treat" to indulge in, and I recorded it.

    I just agree with the article---treat the holidays like any other day, and make good decisions. - 12/30/2009   3:45:40 PM
  • CAECKHART
    189
    I've heard from different sources not to weigh everyday so I don't. I do weigh once a week, even during the holidays. I have a goal of losing a certain amount of weight before June 2010 because I want to look good for my son's wedding. You have to have a goal or you will gain weight. I am lucky because my husband did the cooking and made sure I got good food but with fewer calories because he wants to help me lose the weight. You also have to work out so I got a
    Biggest Loser game for the Wii and I can definitely feel it. - 12/30/2009   12:41:00 PM
  • 188
    I'm allergic to gluten, soy, and dairy and if I eat it I feel really bad, so that motivates me to avoid most temptations during the holidays. It's how I see my allergies as blessings. The other thing I do is to weigh myself daily because there are so many allergy free goodies that just over indulging in carbs for one day will show up on the scale as about 2 pounds for me. While it isn't fat when it shows up on the scale (for me over indulging in carbs like stuffing causes water weight gain the next day), it keeps me honest so that I can return to the good behavior that helped me lose the weight in the first place.

    PeachesII - 12/29/2009   9:14:53 PM
  • 187
    I weigh in once a week and this holiday season I have gained 2 pounds. I usually step up my exercise over break, but this year I couldn't and I still ate the same!! I'm trying really hard to get back on track! - 12/29/2009   11:39:24 AM
  • 186
    I think this is so true! I weigh every day. It does help me to see where my weight is going every day. Then when I weigh more, I alter what I am eating that day to try to get my weight back down to where I want it to be. I believe in splurging a bit over the holidays, but only on the designated holiday and for one meal, then it's right back to watching what I eat the rest of the time. - 12/29/2009   10:39:19 AM
  • SHEDLBS4LIFE
    185
    I try to weigh-in daily. This helps me see if the direction I'm taking is tipping the scale up or successful decline so I can adjust my daily routine accordingly. - 12/29/2009   9:08:01 AM
  • KBIELEFE
    184
    This is the second holiday season in a row I've successfully lost weight. For me, it all boils down to continuing to track what I eat.

    I found out how many weight loss myths abound among my friends and family. Someone apologized for giving me chocolate as a gift since I obviously never eat it, but I told her I would enjoy it, I just eat it in smaller portions now. I saw family members eating 2000 calorie meals, then skipping dessert in an effort to appear healthy, where I filled up on veggies, had reasonable portions of my favorites, and had plenty left in my calorie budget for a slice of pumpkin pie. Our host claimed her lasagna was extra healthy because she barely used one bag of cheese, and it was cheddar instead of ricotta. One person advised my wife to eat a lot more ham because protein was filling. And of course, none of them will take the word of the guy who has lost over 100 pounds.
    - 12/28/2009   3:14:25 PM
  • TLOVESC1125
    183
    Thank you for sharing this with me. Even though Christmas is over and for the most part try to weigh daily I have somehow fallen away from this. Reading this has reminded me that weighing is something I need to get back into the habit of doing. - 12/28/2009   12:00:50 PM
  • 182
    Weighing myself daily works for me. If the scale goes up, I know that I've been eating too much and/or going over my sodium limit and have to be more vigilant about the number of calories I am consuming as well as the amount of sodium I eat.
    I have to admit that for me, Christmas is the hardest holiday to avoid weight gain. There is so much food around at work, and so many people persist in giving me food gifts, even though they know I am on a weight loss plan. I have learned to give most of the food away, and when I do eat some, I try to limit my portion. If I exercise portion control, I don't feel deprived. - 12/27/2009   8:55:26 PM
  • 181
    This is so true. When I was over 300 lbs I weighed myself probably once a year. Now after losing I weigh myself probably everyday. It really helps me stay on track. - 12/27/2009   7:48:00 PM
  • LUCYJUNE7
    180
    This year I learned a secret,eat what you want in really small portions. I have been successful to lose and to keep exercising. keep a food journal, when you are faced with eating to much or not the good stuff, you think about writing it in your journal ,.then reading what you did, it works for me.You worked hard to get where you at so keep up the good work.happy new year lucy june7 - 12/27/2009   4:44:04 PM
  • 179
    I almost always weigh in every morning. If I'm not weighing it usually means I'm not trying hard enough with my nutritional goals! It's a tell-tale sign that I'm getting lax in my attitudes! - 12/27/2009   12:46:40 PM
  • BASHFUL551
    178

    I way in everyday. I need to know the numbers on the scale to keep me on track. If I gain alittle I work alittle harder. I really like to see the numbers go down. - 12/27/2009   12:43:56 PM
  • 177
    This year, I am doing things differently. I have been eating smaller portions of our holiday meals and not giving in to the feeling that since it is a holiday everything is permitted. I also keep my exercise routine going and overall I feel great. Happy Holidays everyone. - 12/27/2009   11:40:12 AM
  • 176
    I weigh myself at least once a week. If I'm gaining then I start to watch what I'm eating. - 12/27/2009   9:40:17 AM
  • 175
    I've been weighing myself almost every day. I had gone without a working scale for a couple years and I wasn't in a regular routine of exercising or watching my portion control with food, etc. I had noticed that my clothes were getting tighter but I didn't make me change my ways until we were weighed for a physical we needed (for insurance or something) and suddenly I realized I was 45-50 pounds more than I should be. I'm now down 45-50 pounds and I'm in control again of my eating habits and exercing multiple times per week. When I weigh myself pretty much every day I know that certain factors such as water weight, etc. can cause some fluctuation up and down in my weight - but it keeps me aware when I've eaten more for a holiday dinner, etc. that I need to maybe supplement my exercise routine or lower my food intake for a day or so to get myself back on track again and balance out a little "over-indulgence". I wouldn't say that I'm compulsive about weighing myself everyday, but I know that I need to keep up a routine of keeping track of it because otherwise the weight-gain could "sneak up" on me again. ;-) - 12/26/2009   10:36:27 PM
  • 174
    Yeah buddy! I weigh in every morning! It really helps keep me on the straight and narrow. I believe I got to be 186 (my starting weight last year) because for many years I didn't even own a scale and only got on one at the doctors office. That was always a traumatic experience. I really have to keep tabs on myself or I will totally let it all go. - 12/26/2009   9:34:25 PM
  • 173
    I weight my self first thing in the morning, and now after reading the post I will start charting my daily weight. Then maybe I can use it to help monitor my nutrition and fitness activity. Thanks guys - 12/26/2009   7:22:25 PM
  • 172
    I gift to my self run 9 miles this weekend!!! and my big gift will be in March, my first half marathon!!! THAT IS WONDERFUL TO ME!!! and I forgot the scale!!! - 12/26/2009   6:20:23 PM
  • 171
    I do weigh my self every morning and keep a record of it. Making myself accountable but not excessive like I was in the beginning of this journey. I do only post once a week on spark and that seems to work the best for me. - 12/26/2009   3:30:21 PM
  • IMRIVEN
    170
    i weigh myself every now and then because more often than not my weight is all over the place. I think the thing that helps me the most is logging in my food so I know my limit. If I wasn't logging in my food an extra cookie would be an extra cookie in addition to my three meals. Now an extra cookie means substituting something else so I don't max out my limit. The other day I tottally binged and had six cookies. Which was great but only left me with just under 300 calories for dinner. I learned my lesson. - 12/26/2009   2:02:25 PM
  • 169
    I weigh myself every morning first thing before eating/drinking/getting dressed, etc....I did try weighing less often after i read somewhere on here in an article that you shouldnt weigh every day...but I lost track of my goals and progress too easily...so, despite dire warnings of becoming too obsessive about weight gain/loss i am back to daily weigh-ins....of course, there is some fluctuation, it is to expected, but knowing my trends helps me plan better to balance my intake...its ok to over indulge (in my humble opinion) once in a while, because as long as I can catch it early on the scale i can adjust my physical activities and foods to temper any prospective permanent gains... - 12/26/2009   1:25:25 PM
  • TOPSFAN535
    168
    My husband and I are also TOPS members and weigh in weekly at our Thursday night meeting. But I have to weigh in at least occasionally during the week to make sure I'm heading in the right direction. I know some people think weighing more than once a week is compulsive behavior but it helps me! - 12/26/2009   12:42:04 PM
  • NATRAT65
    167
    I weigh myself every morning and write it on my calender. It helps me keep track & motivates me. - 12/26/2009   12:35:50 PM
  • 166
    I weigh myself almost every day and track it to look for trends (good or bad). - 12/26/2009   11:35:11 AM
  • CDODGER1
    165
    I weigh every morning, keep a chart and average out each week, month and year. It really keeps me on track. I've done this for many years. - 12/26/2009   11:20:31 AM
  • 164
    I check the scale every other day, it keeps me in check. I know there will be fluctuations, but the next day or so the scale shows the correct weight. If I did not do this, I feel I would get sidetracked and eat what I shouldn't. - 12/26/2009   11:14:48 AM
  • 163
    I weigh myself everyday. It keeps me motivated. - 12/26/2009   11:11:41 AM
  • DJG4GSUS
    162
    "they" (whoever that is) have said it's not good to weigh every day. I have found that I get too off track if I don't. I do some full-body stretching before I get out of bed in the morning, go urinate, strip for the shower, and step on the same scale every morning. I am not so legalistic that fluctuations throw me into a tizzy, but it CERTAINLY helps keep me on track!! - 12/26/2009   9:58:48 AM
  • 161
    I don't use the scale to track my weight so much, but more of a tool to gauge how my heart is doing. My mother died from congenital heart failure so I use the scale to watch for extreme changes that indicate a more immediate problem.

    OK I admit it, I get freaked when I see me gaining and not losing or even maintaining. Now getting on the Dr's scale, well thats a horse of a different color.

    - Ralph - 12/26/2009   9:25:40 AM
  • 160
    I must be the odd man (or woman) out. I don't own a scale, don't want a scale and when I did have one it drove me nuts with the slightest ups and downs. So, I threw out the scale.

    I took off 80 lbs about 4 years ago and it's still off. Still need to take more off and I do work on it daily. I've been eating small amounts six times a day. Believe me, by the sixth time, I'm full of food and not wanting more. Combine this with exercise and I'm happy with what I'm doing. I figured out a long time ago that losing weight and keeping it off is a lifetime change in eating habits. Diets ("shivering" at the word") work for some people but do not work for me. In my earlier years whenever I "dieted" the weight would always come back. By concentrating on what I'm eating or not eating keeps me more on track than numbers on a scale. About the only time I weigh in is when visiting my doctor and that's usually when I find out what I've gained (if any). The only goal I've seen throughout a lot of postings is the will and committment to create a better life for ones self. We can all do it even if we don't agree on some things. - 12/26/2009   8:48:15 AM
  • SFARR01
    159
    Everyday first thing. Log it in. Yes weight will go up and down from day to day and I don't worry about that. I'm looking for gradual trend. Initially lost two pounds or more a week for the first twenty pounds, but now it is about one pound a week. Plateaus will occur where weignt doesn't change for a week or so, then all of a sudden I'll be down 2 pounds and it will hold. Weighing daily, eating a consistent diet, exercising regularly, and logging in foods and monitoring calories all adds up to weight loss. Being conscious about food intake, exercise, water intake and sleep all add up to a healthy lifestyle. - 12/26/2009   8:12:59 AM
  • 158
    I am a member of TOPS (Take off pounds sensibly). We meet every Tuesday night and weigh in. For me weighing in once a week works. However, now I am also focusing on how my clothes feel on me. Like yesterday I wore a pair of jeans that were to tight last week but fit just right yesterday! I know I am heading in the right direction! - 12/26/2009   8:09:11 AM
  • SPENBEN
    157
    I have avoided the scale for a long time because I don't want to face it. I guess from what I have read, it is important to be realistic and face that scale. I will weigh in today and begin that journey. Thanks all for your comments. They helped me to read them - 12/26/2009   8:02:26 AM

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