Do Plump Turkeys and Jolly Ol' Saint Nick Cause Weight Gain Worries?



By Amy Johnson, RD, CDE Losing weight during the festive holiday season is not a reasonable goal. In fact, maintaining weight during these festivities is the same as losing weight any other time of the year! While there are many healthy recipe swaps you can prepare, I see nothing wrong with serving the traditional recipes that Grandma used to make. The main meal isn’t what causes you to gain weight, it’s the left-over pie and gravy laden turkey and potatoes that you eat for days on end! Here are some tips to help you balance the scales:

  • Don’t skip meals - if you have a work party for dinner, make sure to eat breakfast and lunch. Skipping meals will only cause you to eat larger portion of high-calorie foods.

  • Weigh daily or try on pants that fit well before the season began.

  • Exercise daily - even if you run out of time to go to the gym, you can speed walk at the mall or work up a sweat cleaning your house.

  • Buffet tip - survey the options before filling you plate and decide what the “must have” dishes are. What’s the point in wasting calories on foods you can have any time of the year?

  • Limit snack treats to one per day and make it count… one of my patients set a goal to only eat homemade cookies!

  • Don't be too hard on yourself - If you go off the deep-end eating dessert at work, remember to practice self forgiveness, awareness and compassion. Doing this will help you to get back on track instead of continuing the binge for the remainder of the season.


Amy Johnson, RD, CDE, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with over 20 years of experience helping patients make healthy food choices. To schedule an evaluation with Amy Johnson in our Sterling office, request an appointment online or call 703-433-2500.

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