Newsroom > DHHS News Release

December 8, 2009

Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or

Holiday Weight Gain: Ten Tips to Avoid It

Lincoln—Popular belief suggests that people gain 7 to 10 pounds over a holiday season, but the actual weight gained by most people is one pound. However, people who gain this pound are unlikely to lose it, and it may contribute to overweight and obesity later in life, according to the state’s Chief Medical Officer.

“It’s very difficult to lose weight, so weight maintenance is important,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, Director of the Division of Public Health in the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “This time of year is a high risk time for adding pounds.”

Ten tips for avoiding weight gain:

  • Don’t skip meals. If you’re hungry, you’ll eat more.
  • Don’t go hungry to a buffet. Hit the fruits and veggies before the high calorie foods.
  • Drink a glass of water between holiday beverages to cut down on calories.
  • Use a sugar substitute in your favorite recipe to reduce calories without compromising the taste.
  • Eat mindfully. Be conscious of what you are eating and enjoy it to its fullest.
  • Eat slowly. It takes about 15 minutes to feel full after you eat. If you feel full, you will eat less.
  • Beware of stress eating. Find other ways to deal with your stress—exercise, get plenty of sleep, do an activity that you enjoy that will relax you and take your mind off stressful situations.
  • Stay active. Walk, run, dance, do housework. There is a myriad of physical activities that you can do.
  • Watch the calories you take in while you are preparing food. Taste-testing can sneak those calories right by you.
  • If you overeat, acknowledge it as a mistake and go back to your goal of eating normally the next day.

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