The holiday season is synonymous with joy, celebration, and often, an indulgence in delicious feasts and treats. However, this festive cheer can sometimes lead to noticeable weight gain. In this article, we’ll explore the average weight gain over the holidays, how long it typically takes to shed those extra pounds, and the most effective strategies for losing holiday weight.

Average Weight Gain Over the Holidays

It’s commonly observed that the holiday season can lead to some extra pounds. Studies suggest that an average adult might gain about 1 to 2 pounds during this period. While this might not sound significant, this additional weight can accumulate over the years if not addressed.

How Long Does It Take to Lose Holiday Weight Gain?

Shedding holiday weight is a gradual process. The time it takes varies based on the amount of weight gained and individual metabolic differences. Generally, it can take a few weeks to a couple of months to lose the holiday weight, provided one follows a consistent routine of exercise and healthy eating.

Best Way to Lose Weight After the Holidays

Losing post-holiday weight effectively involves a combination of exercise and dietary adjustments.


  1. Cardiovascular Activities: Engaging in cardio exercises like brisk walking, running, or cycling helps burn calories and boosts metabolism. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week.
  2. Strength Training: Incorporating strength training twice a week can build muscle mass, which in turn increases your resting metabolic rate, aiding in faster weight loss.
  3. Consistency is Key: It’s crucial to establish a regular exercise routine. Consistency trumps intensity in the long run.


  1. Balanced Meals: Focus on a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains. These foods are not only nutritious but also help in keeping you full for longer durations.
  2. Mindful Eating: Be conscious of portion sizes and try to avoid mindless snacking. Eating slowly and savoring your food can also help in reducing overall intake.
  3. Hydration: Increasing water intake can aid in weight loss. Sometimes thirst is misinterpreted as hunger, leading to unnecessary snacking.

How to Keep It Off

Losing the holiday weight is just one part of the journey. Keeping it off requires a long-term commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Set Realistic Goals: Aim for gradual weight loss and avoid drastic diets that are hard to maintain.
  2. Build Healthy Habits: Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine and make healthy eating a habit rather than a short-term fix.
  3. Monitor Progress: Keep track of your progress, but don’t obsess over the scale. Focus on how you feel and how your clothes fit as indicators of your success.
  4. Support System: Having a support system, whether it’s friends, family, or a fitness community, can keep you motivated and accountable.

Overcoming Dietary Restrictions:

  • Focus on “What You Can Eat”: Don’t be discouraged by restrictions. Explore delicious and healthy recipes that fit your dietary needs. Many websites and cookbooks offer resources for gluten-free, vegan, or low-carb holiday meals.
  • Get Creative with Substitutions: Can’t have dairy? Try plant-based milk alternatives in mashed potatoes or creamy soups.
  • Plan Ahead: Research healthy recipe options before holiday gatherings. This allows you to choose dishes you can enjoy while staying within your dietary limitations.
  • Communicate: Let your host know about your dietary restrictions in advance. Many people are happy to accommodate dietary needs with a little heads-up.

Staying Motivated:

  • Set SMART Goals: Make your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Instead of “lose weight,” aim for “lose 1 pound per week for the next month.”
  • Find a Workout Buddy: Having someone to exercise with can increase accountability and make workouts more enjoyable.
  • Track Your Progress: Seeing your progress over time can be a powerful motivator. Utilize fitness trackers, apps, or a simple journal to monitor your weight, measurements, and overall health improvements.
  • Reward Yourself: Celebrate milestones! Reaching a goal or sticking to your routine for a set period deserves a reward. Choose non-food-related rewards like a massage, new workout gear, or an experience you’ve been wanting.
  • Visualize Success: Imagine yourself reaching your goals and feeling energized. Visualization can be a powerful tool for staying motivated.

In conclusion, while the holiday season might bring some unwelcome weight gain, it’s certainly possible to lose it effectively with the right approach. Combining regular exercise with a balanced diet and maintaining these healthy habits year-round is the key to not only losing holiday weight but also sustaining a healthy weight long-term. Remember, patience and consistency are your best allies in this journey.