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8 Tips to Avoid Gaining Weight, Being Uncomfortable and Feeling Guilty During the Holidays

Years ago, I was listening to a San Francisco news program just before New Year’s Eve and the news anchor said that from Thanksgiving to just after New Year’s Day, the average American gains 9 pounds. I do not know if this number is true, but many of us gain weight during the holidays and even though this is a bit late, I hope you can use it to help you be more in control and help avoid weight gain this Holiday Season.

8 Tips:

1. Take digestive enzymes with your meals. Research shows that adults who are 20-30 years old have about 30X more enzymes to digest their food than adults 65 and older. So, if you are wondering why you can’t eat all the foods you used to eat when you were young you know why – our bodies are not producing the enzymes we need to digest our food. Tricky Mother Nature. Truthfully, you may be able to eat more types of food than you think, you just need some supportive enzymes. Food enzymes will help you digest your food better and tend to keep you more comfortable after you eat. You are putting back the enzymes Mother Nature intended.

2. Eat raw food. (Raw food means not cooked food.) Eat some fruits and vegetables. These are filling and they tend to digest more readily than cooked foods because they have the digestive enzymes you need to digest your food. Once fruits and vegetables are cooked, the enzymes are destroyed.

3. Limit the calories that you drink. Alcohol has a lot of calories and has virtually no nutritional value. Do your best to limit alcohol. Fruit juices and sodas also have a lot of calories and because of the effects on your blood glucose, they tend to make you gain weight.

  • Drink water. Water has zero calories and it is helpful in digesting your food as well as filling you up.

  • Try sparkling water. There are a lot of flavored sparkling waters that have no sugar, and they are quite satisfying. (Make sure there are no unhealthy additives to the water.)

  • Zevia soft drinks. They are low-calorie and sweetened with Stevia rather than more harmful artificial sweeteners. If you need a soda fix, Zevia has a lot of flavors to try.

4. Try not to snack too much while preparing your meal. If you snack consistently throughout the day while you are preparing food, often when it is time to eat you will feel full. When it is time to eat the special meal with your family you eat and end up feeling very full.

5. (The opposite of number 5.) Don’t starve yourself before your holiday meal. Try not to sit down to a large meal while you are starving. This is almost a guarantee that you will overeat. Have normal meals throughout the day, so you are not famished when it comes time to eat.

6. Eat slowly. The signal from the brain to your stomach can take 20 minutes or longer to kick in. In the meanwhile, you can overeat and make yourself uncomfortable after your meal. Practice eating slowly. Have some dinner conversation, or share a fun holiday anecdote while eating your meal. This will give you some breaks in between bites.

7. Only eat while you are at the table sitting down. Once you have finished your meal, get up and go to a room where you can continue to enjoy the company of your friends and family without the stimulus to continue to eat.

  • Socialize somewhere other than the kitchen.

  • Go for a group walk.

  • Plan an activity around your gathering – play a game of cards, a board game, bean bag toss, or charades. Something that gets everyone involved and having fun.

8. Put your attention on the true meaning of the Holidays.

My advice to you is to find a way to connect with others in a way that is special to you. By doing this you may find that your focus on food has taken a back seat to a bigger purpose, and the true meaning of this time of year. This is really the best advice I can possibly give you.


We wish you and your family the very best.

Happy Holidays!

Dr. Richard F. Gringeri

and the Staff at The Human Engine Clinic



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