How to Lose Holiday Weight Gain

Holidays make for joyous opportunities that inspire many people to overeat, which often is the best part of occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Fourth of July. You pay the price, though, when you step on the scale and realize you've gained weight, or worse, you try to put on your favorite jeans and they don't fit. To keep weight gain from escalating, indulge your appetite during the holidays, but have a plan of action in place to shed the pounds as soon as you resume your normal everyday routine. Discuss any weight loss or exercise concerns with your health-care provider.

Step 1
Reduce your calorie intake. On the first day after the holiday, put any sweet and fattening treats in the freezer for another time, or simply throw them out. If you normally eat fatty and sugary foods, reduce your sugar intake quickly by drinking water and tea instead of soda and fruit juice. Immediately after the holidays, replace candy, bagged snacks and desserts with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy products and whole grains.

Step 2
Keep track of everything you eat and review your food journal daily. Write down your food intake in a notebook or use your smart device to keep video and audio journals of what you eat. Being aware of what you eat can serve as an effective reminder of which foods to avoid as you work on dropping holiday pounds.

Step 3
Increase your daily exercise. After the holidays, resume your normal gym routine if you have a membership or join a nearby gym. If your local gym is cost-prohibitive, take one or several walks daily. Walking doesn't impact your budget and you may gain the added benefit of relaxation by walking in the park, at a lake or around a shopping mall. Depending on your current weight and how fast you walk, you could burn between 60 and 360 calories per day.

Step 4
Join a support group. A support group can help you stay on track if you have difficulty letting go of certain holiday foods or need motivation to exercise on a daily basis. Employers, churches and community centers often offer post-holiday weight-loss support groups to inspire wellness practices before and after an indulgent break.

Tips

Reward yourself with small gifts as you drop holiday pounds. The rewards you give yourself can be as simple as inexpensive fashion accessories or as extravagant as a Caribbean cruise.

Things You'll Need

Calorie counter
Food journal
Pedometer