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Senior Tips for Preventing Holiday Weight Gain

5 min read

By Clarissa Vanner

The holidays is undoubtedly a fun time of year. There is so much to look forward to from family time to holiday traditions and of course, delicious food. But with all the holiday meals, treats, and snacks many of us experience unwanted weight gain. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to help prevent it!

Follow along as we uncover senior tips that will help prevent the dreaded holiday weight gain so you can continue to enjoy the season guilt-free!

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Stick to Your Meal Routine

The holidays are often a busy time of year which can easily kick you out of your routine. That said, if you want to prevent holiday weight gain you really need to stick to your regular meal routine.

Try your best to consume three wholesome meals per day with a few snacks in between. You’ll also want to ensure your meals include fresh fruits and veggies, plenty of fiber (great for digestion and induces fullness), and adequate protein. Check out these everyday foods all seniors should be eating!

Go for Walks

There are many benefits of walking from warding off diseases to boosting your mood and of course, promoting weight loss. Walking is a great form of exercise for seniors because it’s low-impact and joint-friendly and doesn’t require any fancy gym equipment.

Better yet, go for a walk with your family — it’s a great way to get together with family while spending time outdoors. Further, if you live in a cooler climate where heavy snowfall is the norm, you may want to consider investing in a treadmill or looking for indoor tracks in your area. Make the most of your walk and check out these tips for a better walking workout!

Enjoy Specialty Drinks in Moderation

During the holidays many of us will drink more specialty drinks including alcohol. These drinks may be delicious but they are also often loaded with sugar and calories.

Try to be mindful of your drink selections and enjoy special drinks modestly! And don’t forget to drink more water — it contains no calories and hydrates your body.

Stay Active

In addition to walking, it’s important to stay active, especially during the holidays! After all, there are many benefits of regular exercise for seniors. A regular exercise routine will not only help you manage your weight but it’s good for your joints, organs, and will help you maintain your independence.

Some great ways to stay active over the holidays include at-home exercises, joining a gym, hiring a personal trainer, or exploring the outdoors. Just make sure you speak to your doctor before starting a new workout regimen.

Portion Control

It’s so easy to overload our plates, especially during the holidays. With so many delicious foods to choose from, we don’t’ blame you! Unfortunately, eating larger portions can lead to weight gain.

The best way to avoid this is to control your food portions and don’t overload your plate. If you have trouble with self-control you may even want to opt for a smaller plate to force you to carefully select your foods and portions.

Find an Accountability Partner

If you’re someone who has success with using the buddy system then make sure you find an accountability partner this holiday season! Many people have better success with sticking to weight goals when they have someone to keep them accountable.

You might want to find a friend or family member who has similar goals to you so that you can keep each other motivated all season long.

Snack in Moderation

The holiday season also offers plenty of delicious (yet, unhealthy) snacks like cookies, chocolates, and other baked goods. While these treats should certainly be enjoyed, just make sure you do so in moderation.

A great way to avoid temptation at home is to keep the snacks out of sight. That said if you’re not at home, try your best to practice healthy snacking habits like avoiding them if you’re not hungry or munching on healthier options like fresh fruits and veggies if you are hungry.

Manage Stress

While the holidays are generally a happy time of year, it can be stressful for some. Things like financial stress, family stress, and social isolation (especially this year) are all common things people worry about.

Managing stress is vital if you want to prevent weight gain. This is because when we’re very stressed our body will release cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress. Studies show that individuals who have high levels of cortisol will intake more food which can lead to weight gain. To avoid this make sure you manage your stress.

If you’re feeling financial stress maybe it’s time to cut back this year. There are more ways to show your love and appreciation than through physical gifts. If you’re feeling stressed due to family or are feeling socially isolated make sure you reach out to someone you care about and express your feelings. Talking it out might have just the impact you’re looking for! Finally, check out these tips on how to reduce stress.

Plan Ahead

Another simple yet effective way to prevent holiday weight gain is to plan ahead. If holiday dinners are on the horizon make sure you mark them on a calendar and don’t be afraid to ask the host what is being served for the meal. You can also offer to bring a healthy dish yourself.

Furthermore, if you’re financially stressed planning ahead will also help you relieve the stress. This way you can make a holiday budget to help you not overspend.

Get Better Sleep

Inadequate sleep is fairly common during the holidays and is often caused by stress and irregular daily routines. But not getting enough sleep can lead to weight gain. This is because lack of sleep can cause us to be hungrier and in result, cause us to consume more calories than we really need.

Michael Breus, Ph.D., author of Beauty Sleep and the clinical director of the sleep division for Arrowhead Health in Glendale, Ariz explains, “Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.”

If you want to prevent weight gain during the holidays then make sure you get a good night’s sleep every night. Keep in mind, healthy adults need about 7 to 9-hours of sleep per night. And if you need help with sleeping, check out these sleeping tips for seniors!

Junior Managing Editor

Clarissa is the Junior Managing Editor of ActiveBeat. She aspires to live a healthy lifestyle by staying active and eating foods that nourish her body, but she isn't afraid to indulge in a little chocolate here and there! Clarissa loves cooking, being outdoors, and spending time with her dog. In her free time, you'll find her relaxing in her hammock or curled up on the couch reading a book.



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