How to Avoid Gaining Weight during the Holidays

The holidays are coming up fast, and as we all know, overeating is common. Who besides me ate more candy than they would have liked this Halloween?

Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, then Hanukkah and Christmas, and to top it all off, New Year’s Eve. Lots of desserts, drinks, big family get-togethers, corporate parties, etc.

Many people are dreading the so-called “Holiday 7” (the 7 lbs. the average person gains between Thanksgiving and New Year’s).

But is the Holiday 7 just something created by the fitness industry to sell more magazines and diet books? There must be some data to support or refute it, right? As a matter of fact there is…

Good news! (Or maybe not…)

A study completed in December 2000 (“Holiday Weight Gain: Fact or Fiction?” by Roberts and Mayer) seems to disprove the myth of the Holiday 7. The study showed that, in fact, Americans gain less than 1 lb. on average during the holidays. Sounds like encouraging news, right? Not so fast. If you read further, you see that although the average across the entire population is less than 1 lb., people who are overweight tend to gain an average of 5 lbs. during the winter holiday season.

Not only that, but if you do gain weight during the year, over half of the weight you put on will be gained during this 6-week holiday period.

The good news is that I’ve created a free mini-eCourse called The 5 Keys to Controlling Your Weight that you can use to prevent weight gain during the holidays this year. It will help you create an important shift in your mindset that is absolutely necessary for the success of any weight-loss system.

Key #1 is described below. At the end, you will have an opportunity to sign up for the remainder of the eCourse. Each day you will receive another Key. I spread it out over five days to force you to give each Key the attention it deserves before moving on to the next. There is no fee, so if you want to lose weight-or just not gain any during the holidays-please sign up.

Key #1: Get clear on exactly what you want to weigh and why.

What is your ideal weight, and why?

When do you want to achieve this weight by, and why?

What are your reasons for wanting to lose weight? Do you want to live longer or get sick less often or feel more energized throughout the day? Do you want to look sexier to your spouse or romantic partner? Did your doctor recommend that you lose weight? Do you want to feel more confident at work? Do you want to be able to go to the beach without feeling embarrassed?

What emotional needs are driving you to lose weight? Do you want to feel more loved and accepted? Do you want higher self-esteem? Do you want to feel proud of yourself when you look in the mirror? What other emotional needs are you trying to satisfy? Will losing weight give you these things? Why or why not?

Are your weight-loss goals and expectations achievable? Maybe you want to lose 20 lbs. in 2 weeks. Is that achievable given your track record and lifestyle? Would you be satisfied losing 1 lb. each week for the next 20 weeks? Be honest with yourself. What is a weight-loss success for you?

Do you have interim goals? Maybe instead of trying to lose weight during the holidays, a good first step would be to make it through the holidays without gaining weight. What’s the next step after that? And the next?

I admit, this is a lot to think about. But clarity is the first step to achieving any goal, especially goals like weight-loss that require a shift in our habits and lifestyle patterns. Take 10 minutes right now and write out exactly what you want and why you want it.

(You’re invited to submit your answers to me by hitting reply. Some people find this helps keep them accountable to their goals. Your confidentiality is guaranteed, and although I may not answer every email, I read them all.)

Get the remaining 4 keys to controlling your weight at

Key #2 will challenge you, but if you take it to heart and complete the exercise, it will provide most of the motivation you need to achieve your weight-loss goals…

©2005 Curtis G. Schmitt


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