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Healthy Tips to Minimize Weight Gain and Promote a Healthy Holiday Season

Matthew Szenderski 11/11/2014
Matthew Szenderski

Believe it or not, the holidays are upon us. It won’t be long before we are wrapping gifts and ringing in the New Year. The average American gains anywhere between 3 and 7 pounds during the holiday season. You may be asking yourself the question, “What can I do this holiday season to avoid the overwhelming number of calories I will encounter?”

Try these easy holiday tips to help maximize your success in avoiding additional calories over the holiday season.

  • Practice portion control. The recommended portion size for a piece of meat is 3-4 ounces. The recommended portion size for a side dish, such as mashed potatoes, cranberry, and stuffing, is the size of your fist or a deck of cards. Be mindful of the portions you are consuming during holiday meals.
  • Avoid the skin of the turkey where a majority of the fat is contained. White meat is generally lower in calories, and healthier than dark meat.
  • Stay hydrated. To help avoid unnecessary snacking, use water as an appetite suppressant.
  • Bring a healthy dish to the party! While pumpkin pie and holiday cookies are festive, they aren’t mandatory. Try a vegetable tray or fruit plate providing healthy options for your fellow party goers.
  • Move the party out of the dining room after dinner to avoid second or third helpings.
  • Stay fit! Make sure to plan some physical activity the morning or afternoon before a large holiday meal or party. Every little bit of exercise you can manage over the holidays helps. Don’t suspend your exercise until January.

Try this fun and healthy recipe and be a hit at your holiday party!

Fruit Skewers with Yogurt Dip


  • 1 C strawberries, rinsed, stems removed, and cut in half
  • 1 C fresh pineapple, diced (or canned pineapple chunks in juice, drained)
  • 1/2 C blackberries
  • 1 tangerine or Clementine, peeled and cut into 8 segments
  • 8 6-inch wooden skewers

For dip:

  • 1 C strawberries, rinsed, stems removed, and cut in half
  • 1/8 C fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp honey


  1. Thread two strawberry halves, two pineapple chunks, two blackberries, and one tangerine segment on each skewer.
  2. To prepare the dip, puree strawberries in a blender or food processor. Add yogurt, vanilla, and honey, and mix well.
  3. Serve two skewers with yogurt dip on the side.

Note: Skewers have sharp points, so monitor younger children while eating, or take the fruit off the skewers for them.