How much do you know about holiday weight gain?

Here’s a holiday gift you don’t need: a few extra pounds. Fortunately, you can take steps to enjoy the season’s special occasions while maintaining a balanced, healthy diet—and your weight.

To assess how much you know about holiday weight gain, decide if the following statements are true or false, then check your answers. 

  1. Many Americans gain five pounds or more during the holiday season.

  2. Having a light protein snack before a holiday meal can help you eat less at the party.

  3. To avoid gaining weight, you have to avoid all holiday desserts and special foods.

  4. Not maintaining your exercise routine during the holidays can contribute to weight gain.

  5. Substituting lower-fat, lower-calorie ingredients in traditional holiday recipes can help prevent weight gain.

  6. Limiting alcohol intake can cut calories, which in turn can help you maintain your weight.

  7. Not standing near the buffet table can help you eat less at holiday parties.

  8. Skipping meals can help you lose weight during the holidays.

  9. Eating slowly can help you eat less.

  10. The holiday season is a good time to try to lose weight.



Scroll down for answers



  1. False – most gain about 1 pound, but the weight hangs around during the spring and summer. Over time, it can be a major contributor to weight gain.

  2. True – going to a party hungry is likely to cause you to overeat.

  3. False – enjoy them, but eat small portions of high-sugar, high-fat foods.

  4. True – making an effort to stay physically active can keep extra pounds from accumulating.

  5. True – for example, use fat-free or low-fat sour cream instead of regular.

  6. True – and at this time of year, avoiding high-calorie, high-fat eggnog is a good place to start.

  7. True.

  8. False – it’s best to eat three balanced meals a day.

  9. True.

  10. False – doing so is not realistic. Instead, try to maintain your preholiday weight.

For more information, visit the Weight Control Information Network at win.niddk.nih.gov.

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