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This article was originally published in the Fall 2021 edition of The Monitor.

The holidays are just around the corner! Many of us look forward to this season all year, and some of our fondest holiday memories are associated with food. We remember helping Grandma with the mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving morning or decorating Christmas cookies on the family’s annual “Cookie Day.”

While it is important for us to enjoy the holiday season, we also cannot neglect our health. The average American gains 1 to 5 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. While this may not sound like a lot, these pounds tend to stay with us into the new year and accumulate over time. Luckily, this weight gain is not inevitable! Below are five tips to battle holiday weight gain while still indulging in some seasonal favorites.


Use applesauce or pumpkin instead of oil. Switch from white flour to whole wheat. Select a sugar substitute of your choice.

Don’t “save calories” FOR HOLIDAY MEALS

Skipping meals often leads to overeating. Be sure to follow your normal routine and eat regularly before a party or family gathering.


Don’t deprive yourself, but limit sweets. Aim for 2 to 3 desserts or treats each week. Plan ahead and skip the cookies so you can enjoy Aunt Barb’s Famous Fudge on Saturday.

Fill half your plateWITH FRUITS & VEGGIES

Enjoy seasonal offerings such as kale, sweet potatoes, apples, broccoli and carrots. Bring a healthy dish, such as a simple veggie tray or a festive salad, to your event.

Don’t forget toEXERCISE

Sign up for a 5K or take an extra lap around the mall while shopping.

Fairfield Medical Center offers nutrition counseling with a registered, licensed dietitian who can empower you to make healthy food choices that will help you lose weight and assist with disease management. To schedule an appointment, call 740-687-8079. A provider referral is encouraged to assist with insurance coverage. For more information, visit our Nutrition Therapy service page.