Strategies to Manage Holiday Eating for Weight Control

As a dietician and nutritionist, I often get asked about how to navigate the holiday season without derailing weight management goals. It's a common concern as holidays are typically associated with indulgence in high-calorie foods and drinks. In this article, we'll delve into practical strategies that can help you enjoy the festive season while maintaining control over your weight. You can expect to gain insight from proven research , studies , and my professional experience.

The Importance of Managing Holiday Eating for Weight Control

It's important to manage holiday eating because it can significantly impact our weight and overall health. Studies show that adults tend to gain around 0.5 to 1 kg during the holiday season, which they often fail to lose post-holidays, leading to gradual weight gain over the years (Yanovski et al., 2000). Moreover, excessive intake of sugar and unhealthy fats during these periods can also increase the risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Hence, having strategies to control holiday eating is not only beneficial for weight management but also for long-term health.

Getting Started: Points to Note

Before jumping into specific strategies, it's crucial to understand that managing holiday eating doesn't mean depriving yourself of enjoying festive foods. Research suggests that overly restrictive diets often backfire, leading to overeating later on (Polivy & Herman, 1985). Instead, the goal should be to strike a balance between indulgence and moderation.

Strategies to Manage Holiday Eating

Additional Tips

Remember to manage stress during the holidays, as it can lead to emotional eating. Techniques such as yoga and meditation can help. Also, getting enough sleep is vital as lack of sleep can stimulate cravings for high-calorie foods (St-Onge et al., 2016).


Managing holiday eating for weight control involves striking a balance between enjoying festive treats and maintaining healthy habits. By planning ahead, practicing mindful eating, staying active, and managing stress, you can navigate the holiday season without compromising your weight management goals. Remember, it's not about perfection but making consistent, mindful choices that support your health and wellbeing.