People sitting around a table eating

How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain and Tummy Troubles

It’s that time of year when family and friends gather together to celebrate, enjoy each other’s company, and eat—a lot. From cookie exchanges to holiday parties to bountiful meals, there are plenty of opportunities to overeat and indulge in calorie-rich foods during the holiday season. If you’re like most Americans, it’s not uncommon to put on an extra pound or two by New Year’s Day.

Here’s the problem: most of us never lose the weight we gain during the holiday season. Year after year, those pounds add up, making holiday weight gain an important factor in our overall health. Holiday eating isn’t always kind to our bodies either. Gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach can leave you feeling lousy, putting a major damper on your holiday plans.

MD Now, Florida’s largest and fastest-growing urgent care provider, recommends the following tips for avoiding unwanted holiday weight gain. With over 65 state-of-the-art clinics, MD Now is also here for you when holiday feasts are not your friend. No appointment is necessary—just walk in!

Before a Holiday Event

  • Plan ahead – Planning ahead goes a long way toward preventing holiday weight gain. If you have events on your calendar, ask what foods will be served. Better yet, bring your own healthy holiday dish to share.
  • Try not to “taste” too much – If you do a lot of cooking during the holidays, it’s easy to take mindless “tastes” over and over again. Try to limit yourself to one small bite before and after seasoning. If you’re using a tried-and-true recipe, wait until the dish is served.
  • Never arrive hungry – Don’t go to a party or holiday gathering when you’re starving, or it could be too hard to say no to all those tempting treats. Have a nutritious snack beforehand or drink some water to fill up before you fill your plate.

At a Holiday Event

  • Pace yourself – Have you ever told yourself that you’ll only eat during the first hour of a party? You’re better off pacing yourself and chewing solely, which fills you up with less food. Putting your fork down between bites can also stop you from eating too much too fast.
  • Use a smaller plate – We tend to consume larger portions when we use big plates—psychologically, a full plate is more satisfying. One of the easiest ways to control portion sizes is to use a smaller plate, especially for buffet-style meals.
  • Limit your alcohol – Avoid drinking too much alcohol at holiday parties. If you drink a lot, you likely won’t have as much control over what you eat. Instead, focus on chatting with your friends and loved ones, dancing, or other diversions.

After a Holiday Event

  • Walk it off – Start a new holiday tradition: the family walk. Walking gets everyone away from the food for a while, burns extra calories, and lets you enjoy family time in the fresh air.
  • Weigh yourself regularly – You may not even want to think about your scale right now. But stepping on the scale at least once a week during the holidays can remind you of your weight goals, allowing you to make changes before significant weight gain sets in.
  • Stress less, sleep more – Stress and sleep deprivation both cause weight gain—and we all know how stressful and tiring the holidays can be. Try to get plenty of rest, exercise regularly, and use things like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing to lower your stress.

Feeling Sick After Holiday Eating? Visit MD Now Urgent Care

Sometimes, weight gain may be the last of your worries after a huge holiday meal. Even when you follow the tips listed above, uncomfortable symptoms can still occur from food consumption—especially with the rich, indulgent foods we tend to favor at holiday time.

If you experience vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, bloating, or any other gastrointestinal symptoms, visit your local MD Now to find out what’s causing your strife. Food poisoning, the flu, and other illnesses are more common during the holidays. The physician-led team of healthcare professionals at MD Now is ready to help you get back on your feet. After all, you’ve got a lot of holiday celebrating to do!

Find an MD Now Clinic

With more than 65+ state-of-the-art clinics throughout Florida, chances are there’s an MD Now right in your neighborhood. Our clinics are open with convenient hours to give you access to care you can trust, right when you need it. Walk in today for superior healthcare during the holidays—and every other day.

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