My Plan to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain


Christmas ham. Photo credit: Flckr / Qtea

Because I’m a committed member of the January Jeans 2013 Club I decided I need some kind of strategy to avoid holiday weight gain.


For the most part, I don’t think Christmas eating is a big problem to me. I usually overeat during the  Christmas vacation and gain some weight, but I get rid of the extra weight pretty fast after I’m back to my usual daily routine. On the other hand I’ve had enough of the annual eating fest that makes me feel like a stuffed turkey, not to mention the constipation and flatulence that go hand in hand with overeating…

I would also like to learn to enjoy holiday eating in moderation, if such a thing is even possible. J Christmas vacation will be a perfect time to practice moderation.

My 5 Rules To Avoid the Holiday Weight Gain


  1. I follow my normal diet before the holidays – I don’t save calories in order to be able to eat more during the Christmas dinner – because starving myself before the holidays is not going to help me eat moderately
  2. During the holidays, I eat regular meals 4-5 time a day
  3. I don’t take second helpings, unless I really am hungry
  4. I eat at the table or sitting on the sofa – I’m not allowed to munch chocolate when I read in bed!*
  5. I choose foods based on my preferences, I don’t eat out of courtesy or because the food is there.

Fortunately, I don’t belong to a family of food pushers, so I can probably eat pretty much the way I want without anyone thinking other than “there’s that crazy aunt again”. I intend to skip the Christmas casseroles and concentrate on chocolate and Hanna’s delicacies instead. 🙂

*Guess what I LOVE to do?

I’ve actually used this strategy successfully earlier this fall.

When I visited home for my grandmother’s funeral, I followed this plan. I didn’t count calories, and I even ate 2 pieces of cake plus quite a many sweets and I still ended weighing 200 grams (0.44 lb) less on that week’s weigh in.

Christmas vacation lasts longer than one weekend, but I think that if I manage to stick to my rules of thumb I can maintain my weight and easily fit into my jeans in January 2013.


There is also another tradition I’d like to break. For some reason or another we (my family) have a tradition of not doing any exercise during the holidays (I don’t count hopping in the car to ride somewhere as exercise). Taking a walk even once during the vacation would be enough to break that tradition.

It might help with the constipation too.. 🙂

Do you have a plan in place to avoid holiday weight gain?


  1. Marion says:

    Hi Satu! Well, I don’t know what Christmas is like in Finland, but in the U.S. the desserts are “tricked out,” meaning that they have every possible high calorie ingredient possible. If the recipe doesn’t even call for the ingredient, it’s often added just to make it even richer. I think the best thing is to just stay away from all of it. We made about 300 frosted pretzels with crushed peppermint candies on top (crushed by me with a hammer!) and will be making some cookies, but it’s all going to teen daughter’s school friends and teachers. We will hardly keep any for our house.

    I really do just think of my January jeans and how nice they will fit. That sounds so vain, but right now that works better than anything else.

    🙂 Marion

    • Satu says:

      It’s funny thinking you crashing peppermint candy with a hammer! 🙂 I might enjoy the frosted pretzels myself. Hanna likes making desserts for the Christmas dinner and I have no idea what she is going to serve this Christmas. Something tricked I think.

      Generally speaking Finnish Christmas dishes are heavy, boring and lacking in fiber, that is why they cause constipation… And then there is of cause the chocolate.

  2. I’ll be struggling to exercise while at my brother’s – but that’s only for a few days. Last Christmas I was very unhealthy but didn’t gain weight because I walked EVERY day without fail. (I think I had one or two days off over the entire period!)

    And yes, I think you’re right – there will be delicacies and treats and the trick is to choose wisely – not necessarily the healthiest BUT what you most want rather than wasting space (calories?!) on those you care less about.

    Well… that’s what I’m hoping to do!


  3. Satu says:

    Sticking to exercise during Christmas is something I’ve yet to do. I set myself a modes goal of exercising once.

    For me much of the Christmas eating happens out of habit and boredom.

  4. Aimee says:

    My mother is a food pusher all year round. It’s a horrible thing to contend with especially when trying to lose weight or eat in a healthier way. I never push food on my son and I tend to start him off with a little bit to decrease wastefulness.

    Anyway as for the holidays I’m doing great so far. Like Marion I am hung up on the jeans. I pretty much wear mine every other day! I am steering clear of any treats that are store bought or not special to this time of year. A few years ago I started my own tradition of running on Thanksgiving and I have extended it to Christmas and New Year’s Day. It is not so much about being able to eat more as it is simply treating my body well. I used to tell myself it was ok not to exercise because it was a holiday. Now I gift myself an hour or two of time to exercise for my health and well being. This year I will actually do a 10K race on New Year’s Day and then I will go home and wear my size 8 jeans!!!

    Great plan and guidelines Satu. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Lori says:

    I have good and bad days with eating this month. My family has a big food fest on Christmas eve and I expect that, but it gets hard to say no all the time to all the things around. Some days just are better than others. I keep exercising always, so that helps for sure.

  6. Marion says:

    Merry Christmas Satu! I hope you have fun with your sister and nieces, and that the Barbie outfits turned out well. Longer email after Christmas.

    🙂 Marion

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