Halloween was sweet and spooky, and Thanksgiving full and filling, but as the fall foods start getting swapped for more fa-la-la-themed sweets it makes one wonder, how much holiday weight gain is considered… normal? 

Let’s face it, there are plenty of ways that holiday weight can creep up on us in the winter. The colder weather makes warm, comfort, carb-laden foods more desirable. Staying indoors by the fireplace sounds so much more peaceful than fighting the alarmingly chilly winter weather. And, it usually means more time spent in the kitchen or around the dinner table with friends and family.  

It’s hard to stay healthy over the holidays.  

(Although, not impossible.*) 

The soul-warming holiday drinks, the sweet baked holiday sweets, the toasty, the creamy, the all-around dreamy foods that leave us salivating are also the ones that add to the post-holiday belly’s, thighs, and ‘oh my’’s that leave us cringing at the scale.  

So, how much weight do you think the average person gains over the holidays? 

The answer is: About 1.3 lbs., on average.1 It doesn’t seem like much, right? But it’s important to keep in mind that that number varies from person to person.  

Researchers from the study2 (sited below) noticed that participants weight began to increase throughout October and November, before finally peaking 10 days after Christmas. Which makes sense why so many people’s New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight.  

On average, it takes people about five months to lose the weight they put on over the holidays.  

But before you rule out any type of holiday indulgence, let’s pump the brakes.  

An enjoyed meal with friends and family every now and then isn’t going to make or break you. In fact, social interaction and allowing yourself to have some of the foods you have been craving is healthier than withdrawing or cutting back drastically on calories. 

Instead, a healthier approach would be to limit your holiday food intake and if you do eat a bit too much and start noticing your clothes are fitting a tad too tight, make some more time to move around.  

Move More, Stay Warmer 

If the weather permits take an after-dinner walk with the family. Play an outdoor football game. Warm up in the gym or do some jumping jacks in your PJs and socks at home before or after work! Anything to help get the body moving, warmed up and burning off those extra holiday calories. 

And before waiting to start your New Year’s resolutions, try instead to set goals for today! Here’s how to actually achieve your fitness goals and worry less about a new year, new you, and more about the wonderful you that already exists.  

*Fa la la la la, la la la, guest pass 


  1. https://www.realsimple.com/health/nutrition-diet/weight-loss/holiday-weight-gain  
  2. Ibid