Holiday Eating without the Weight Gain

Posted by: Lainie Neiman, Life Coach on


We are officially into the holiday season–having lived through the biggest American feasting day of the year– Thanksgiving. 

How can we get through December’s myriad holiday parties and endless supply of Christmas cookies, candy and juicy hams without putting on extra pounds? 

The answer is mindfulness and moderation. 

Easier said than done, I hear you say. You are absolutely right. So how can we keep the food orgy that is December at bay?

Realizing that you are in charge of your food choices, as well as the amount you eat is a good start. When you are invited to a holiday party that involves grazing, it is all too easy to pile on the food, alcohol and calories without even knowing it. 

Pay Attention to Food Choices

The first step is learning to pay attention. It is so easy to get carried away when we’re in the holiday spirit- and especially after we’ve had that first glass of wine, beer or eggnog. It just takes one glass to loosen our resolve, best intentions and inhibitions. Self discipline flies out the window once you’ve had a drink. 

It is also so much easier to have a second and third drink after the first one. So, what’s a person to do when the decadence deck is so stacked against us, not to mention temptations calling our name? 

I recommend making a decision before you leave for your party, and decide that you will pay more careful attention to what you are putting into your mouth. 

Alcohol is fun, but it is all empty calories. Desserts are fun too, but there is little nutritional value there either. 

How To Avoid Gaining Weight at the Buffet Table

One secret is to load up on any raw or cooked veggies on the table. They can satisfy your hunger, and make it easier to turn away a second drink or piece of cake. The other secret is to pace yourself. Focus on chatting with people you enjoy, limit your visits to the buffet table, and sip your wine or punch slowly-more slowly than you normally would. 

Make an effort to focus on your enjoyment of the party–the people more than the food.  Remember to eat and drink slowly and savor the flavor, rather than guzzle or gobble. 

The most realistic goal is to get through the holidays without gaining weight. It reminds me of that old adage, “easy come, easy go” about money. It’s really more like “hard come, easy go”. The same thing applies with weight loss. 

It is work to get those pounds off, and keep them off. It is far too easy to pack the pounds back on.  Make a shift this holiday season, and take care of yourself by increasing your awareness of what you put in your mouth. Be sure to move your body as often as possible- walking or working out. It’s the best Christmas or Chanukah gift you could give yourself. 

Lainie Neiman has been the principal of Neiman Consulting, LLC, since January of 2005. She focuses on business consulting, career and life coaching and health coaching, with a specialty in family owned business and health coaching.  Her previous experience includes working with the premier employee assistance program provider in the country, headquartered in St. Louis.  She was involved in all aspects of the business including supervisor training, account management, and counseling individual clients.