Weight Loss & Diet

Stay on Track with Goals and Activity to Fight Weight Gain This Holiday Season

Stay on Track with Goals and Activity to Fight Weight Gain This Holiday Season
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

In this article:

  • More than half of adults gain at least 1 lb. during the holidays. But you can avoid this.
  • Stay on track with goals and activity in Lark to fight holiday weight gain. Log food, weigh yourself, and stay active to stay healthy this year.
  • Keep making small choices. They can lead to significant results.
  • Lark can guide you through the holiday season to try to stay healthy and keep weight off.

It can be easy to give up on health during the holidays. Food is everywhere. Stress may peak. You may be busy. You may feel forced to choose between health and holiday fun. But you may be able to have both!

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Here is why. First, holiday weight gain may be less than you think. A study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that over half of American adults gain at least 1 lb between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. But, this amount is far less than the 5 to 10 lb many adults fear. 

Second, it is possible to combat holiday weight gain by making small changes, but without giving up holiday fun. You may even lose weight during this time. And staying on track with goals and physical activity in Lark is something you can do for your health in only a few minutes a day.

Here are a few tips for staying on track with goals and physical activity during the holidays.

Benefits of Self-Monitoring

Self-monitoring is a tried-and-true action of successful losers. And it can work during the holidays. A workplace intervention described in Nutrition and Health included self-monitoring, and offered challenges and support, for 10 weeks around the holidays. Participants lost an average of 4.3 lb. That is not bad compared to gaining weight at this time!

Food Logging

Welcome to Food Logging - Badges

Food logging is one type of self monitoring. It increases awareness of what you are eating. It may help you choose healthier foods. It may motivate you to take smaller portions of less-healthy foods.

When you log with Lark, you get better coaching. You receive instant feedback, get more personalized recommendations, and can work towards more green badges.

It takes only a few minutes to log your meals. These are some tips.

  • Log right after you eat or at least once a day. That way, you can remember what you ate.
  • Log everything you eat, even if it is only a bite.
  • Include “extras,” such as cooking oil, beverages with calories, and snacks.
  • Do your best to notice portion sizes. But do not worry too much about logging them precisely. Patterns and trends are more important.

Weigh Yourself

Best Bathroom Scales for Your Weight Loss Journey

When it comes to weigh-ins, there is a popular theory. It says that if you do not weigh yourself, you are not gaining weight. The problem is that it is wrong!

Luckily, there is a solution: weigh yourself! Crazy enough, that simple action works. An article in Obesity (Silver Spring) finds that people who weigh more often lose more weight. Research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics points to daily weighing as a good goal. 

These are some tips.

  • Do weigh yourself after you wake up.
  • Don’t wear shoes or heavy clothing.
  • Do weigh yourself before you eat or drink anything that day.
  • Don’t expect to lose weight every day. Weight fluctuates.

Staying Active

Barriers to physical activity during the holiday season can include lack of time and poor weather. But it is more important than ever to stay physically active! These are just a few reasons to aim for at least 150 minutes per week.

  • Physical activity burns calories. That helps keep weight off.
  • Exercising is a way to manage stress.
  • Physical activity can improve your mood.

Plus, consider the effects of the holiday season itself on health. An article in BMC Public Healthfound that deaths increase during the holidays. They may be related to poor diet. For example, a high-fat diet for only a few days increases insulin resistance and lipid metabolism disorders. And exercise has opposite effects. It reduces insulin resistance. And it improves cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Making Small Changes


It is fine to indulge on holidays or at special events. But keep up with your regular healthy choices the rest of the time. And whenever you can, consider making a small change to support health or weight loss. These are some examples.

  • Park further away and walk a lap around the mall before going into stores.
  • Meet friends for a walk before coffee.
  • Have smaller versions of holiday treats, such as a small pumpkin latte or a mini candy cane.
  • Split treats such as a holiday cookie with a friend.
  • Remove skin from turkey, have dressing and toppings on the side of salads, and eat only half of the bread to reduce calories.
  • Drink water and low-calorie beverages whenever possible. Limit alcohol and sugary drinks such as soda, punch, and fruit juice.
  • Snack on fruit and vegetables instead of cookies or chips.

Though small, these and similar choices can have great effects on your health and weight by January 1!

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You can eat the holiday foods you love and still stay on track this year. Lark can help. Lark’s nutrition and weight loss coaching includes daily check-ins, meal logging features, and instant feedback. And if motivation is what you need during this busy season, Lark is available 24/7 to provide it. 

Healthy eating during the holidays does not mean giving up everything you love. There are ways to fit in your favorites and stay true to tradition while making healthy choices. Lark can help you make small changes that can keep you on track. 

Your health insurance might cover Lark at no cost to you. Click here to find out if you may be eligible for Lark!

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