Health Blog

Mindful Eating Over the Holidays

The average weight gain is 1-2 pounds during the holidays. It is easier to maintain weight than try and lose unwanted pounds. It takes 3500 extra calories to gain a pound of weight. This can happen as easily as having larger portions of foods on your plate and using a bigger plate and glass. Very calorie dense foods are in the form of cheese and crackers, spinach and artichoke dip with bread, mixed alcohol drinks, ranch dip, olives, gravy, dark meats, desserts etc.

Check out these tips to slow down or stop weight gain:

  • Don’t show up to a holiday party starving! This will likely lead to a binge on high calorie, sugary foods. You can give yourself permission to enjoy a healthy pre-snack like an apple.
  • Sit down when you eat or drink. This helps you focus on your meal.
  • When eating, only eat instead of eating while watching TV, playing on the phone, reading a book, playing on the computer or socializing.
  • Cut your food up into smaller bites to make it look like you have more on your plate.
  • Start with lower calorie foods first: water, sparkling water, broth type soups, a small veggie salad, and veggies without dip at a holiday party. Eat higher calorie foods last such as cheese, salami, olives, and desserts etc. If you do, have smaller portions of them.
  • If you see someone eating slower at the table, match their eating speed to make the meal last about 20 minutes.
  • Set the sandwich, fork or spoon down between bites to slow yourself down.

So, feel good knowing that a few tips can help slow down or stop weight gain! The goal is to have fun and enjoy the food, time with family and friends.

A good read by Brian Wansick is called “Mindless Eating.” He is a Professor and Director of Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, where he is a leading expert in changing eating behavior.










Dawn Ware, RD
Dietician at Barry Community Health Center