BodyMindLink Blog

Holiday Weight Gain

Healthy holiday eating without gaining weight! Is it possible? …  If you live in Mississauga, Toronto, Milton, Oakville, Hamilton, Burlington, or Niagara you might consider our advanced clinical nutrition approach for healthy living and longevity.

Surviving The Holidays Without Gaining Weight

Overindulgence during the holidays accounts for tiredness, fatigue, bloating and other digestive complaints.  It is during the winter holiday season that many people consume an average of 3000 calories a day and gain 1 to 5 pounds of weight.

Several nutrient and metabolic factors are also associated with weight gain.  The goal of this blog is to provide you with simple lifestyle tips that can help you survive the holidays.

Maintain Protein Throughout the Day

Higher than RDA protein intake is associated with weight loss, lean body mass, and the normalization of metabolic risk factors for heart health and more.  Many researchers now consider higher than RDA protein intake to be quite safe.

By eating sufficient protein throughout the day we can sustain even blood sugar levels which will help us avoid associated irritability, tiredness, stimulant (coffee, caffeine) dependency, and behavior and mood imbalanceBreakfast is considered the most important meal of the day and it is here where protein is best absorbed and utilized.  Protein snacks are also good and much healthier than fast carbohydrate snacks.

The 40:40:20 Rule is considered the best approach; that’s a daily intake that provides 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 20% fat.

Eat Your Veggies

Your daily carbohydrate intake should be filled with vegetable choices that are healthy.  In general, a colorful array of vegetables is best.

Try introducing a new vegetable.  Many restaurants for example serve roasted brussel sprouts and you may be surprised that they taste great when roasted.  This roasted brussel sprout recipe is one of my favorites.

Up the Fibre: To Help You Stay Fuller Longer

Fiber contained in vegetables or tolerated grains can go a long way to curb your appetite.  Maintaining adequate protein and fiber intake can help you stay fuller longer and for those that over eat, this can act as an appetite suppressant.

Avoid Food Intolerants

During the holidays many opt to indulge in foods that they know cause reactions but this is not a good option if you have a known allergy.  Gluten and dairy for example are hard to avoid at many gatherings.  If this is the case try bringing healthy high protein dishes to the gathering or bulk up on gluten-free dishes that contain meat, vegetables, rice, salad, or fruit.

Get Out & Get Exercise

Exercise is one of many longevity lifestyle principles that we need to maintain especially during the holidays.   It can be as simple as getting out for a walk or doing regular outdoor sports or activities.

Mindful Eating

Treats such as chocolate, nuts or other desserts can be consumed with the main meal to avoid overindulgence.  People associate main meal items with a sense of fullness so this helps pace your rate of consumption.

Slowing down while eating also helps you feel fuller sooner, while facilitating a better release of digestive enzymes to help you assimilate food nutrients.

Drink Water

Water fills you up and is preferable to pop or juice from a calorie perspective.   Pop or juice at mealtime also tends to cause bloating.  Room temperature water is preferable to cold water which can reduce digestive enzyme activity.


The BodyMindLink series by Dr Ray Pataracchia ND provides insight on Naturopathic approaches that matter and have the potential to benefit general and mental health.   Clinical approaches discussed are implemented by the Naturopathic Medical Research Clinic (NMRC) in Toronto, Ontario.  Our clinic treats a wide array of health conditions.

Disclaimer: Information provided is not to be used for self-assessment, diagnosis or treatment.  We advise readers to discuss these topics with their health care provider or book an appointment with our Toronto clinic.