The ONE Simple Behavior that Prevents Holiday Weight Gain

  • Marie Roth, MA, RDN, ACTP
According to the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR)--the largest prospective study designed to identify and investigate the characteristics of individuals who have succeeded at maintaining long-term weight loss-- there are several key behaviors that help prevent weight gain.

Among the 10,000 individuals the NWCR is tracking:

  • 78% eat breakfast every day and follow a low-calorie, low-fat diet.
  • 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
  • 90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.
  • 75% weigh themselves at least once a week.

However, a recent study published in Obesity shows the act of daily self-weighing is a particularly successful approach for preventing holiday weight gain. The average person gains 1 to 3.5 pounds annually during the holidays.  If not lost, the weight can creep up to an unhealthy amount over time.  While daily self-weighing does not completely protect against holiday weight gain—as the study group did have small, expected weight fluctuations between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day—it does provide immediate feedback that appears to motivate future behaviors, such as eating less or exercising more to compensate for the increases in weight.

So if you are looking to enjoy those holiday splurges with a net zero weight gain, consider the simple behavior of weighing yourself every morning.


These materials are provided to you by Blythedale Children’s Hospital and Kohl’s
Eat Well, Be Well Nutrition Outreach Program.
For more tips and information, please visit

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Kohl's Eat Well, Be Well Program

Blythedale Children's Hospital, through the generosity of Kohl’s Department Stores, is proud to offer Blythedale and Kohl's Eat Well, Be Well, an innovative outreach program designed to bring health and nutrition education to schools throughout Westchester and Putnam counties. Through this program, Blythedale staff members teach healthy eating habits to children by providing curricula, training and educational tools to school districts throughout the area. The program provides general nutrition guidelines to students, parents and school faculty. Blythedale Children's Hospital offers experts in nutrition and health-education to speak with local parenting groups, PTAs and school personnel.

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