How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain


by Mari Twins

Image courtesy of Apolonia /

Image courtesy of Apolonia /

¡Pernil, arroz con gandules, potato salad, baked zitti, pasteles,  y la lista continua sin fin! Let’s not forget turkey, stuffing, lasagna and although we have consumed every last bit of our holiday meals there is always room for dessert! We are all aware that the holidays mean that gaining a few pounds is inevitable and some of us have tried a few tricks like eating smaller portions or skipping dessert. But what happens when Abuela’s pernil is served and she insists on giving you a second serving? Saying no to Abuela’s pernil, which she prepared with so much love and excitement, is not an option. Abuela will definitely not understand when you inform her that this year you are skipping dessert. You simply must try her secret recipe tres leches that the entire family is raving about.  In addition to our own family festivities, we visit our extended family and the family our significant others. Sometimes we find ourselves eating full meals in a short period of time.  We must not look at food as our enemy; some of the best memories during the holiday season is being among loved ones and enjoying delectable food. Here are some ideas that will help you balance the consumption of your favorite holiday meals.

  1. Limit your tasting while preparing your holiday meal, especially if you are doing all the cooking.  Keep the number of times you taste to pre and post seasoning.
  2. If you are making more than one stop on a specific day, schedule to arrive early for lunch and plan to arrive late for dinner. This will allow you to space out the day better and help you have more control of what you are eating.
  3. Invite family members or friends to take a stroll around the neighborhood and use it as a time to enjoy the décor from the other houses. This will also help burn some calories.
  4. Drink Water! Water is a great substitute for higher calorie beverages.
  5. Offer to bring a vegetable tray, a salad, or a low calorie dessert.
  6. Indulge more in conversation than in food. Have the older members of the family tell stories of when they were young. This can become a new family tradition and help keep focus away from the food.
  7. After a full day of indulging on great holiday food plan to make a date with a friend the following morning at the gym. This will allow you to reconnect with an old friend and exercise at the same time.

Experts agree that portion control is the key to maintaining weight during the holidays. However we are from a culture where the holidays are filled with an array of foods and desserts and sometimes saying “No, Gracias” is not an option. We must be proactive and take the steps necessary to create some balance in our food intake during the holidays.

Maribel and Marisol Joven, better known as the Mari Twins were born in New York City from Ecuadorian and Spaniard Parents and they serve as positive role models in their community. They are passionate about their culture, health and wellness, education, and fashion. Currently residing in New Jersey, Maribel and Marisol have successful careers in the Education and Healthcare fields. Maribel and Marisol’s efforts to better the well-being of others or create awareness can be found in their volunteer work. The Mari Twins are proud to represent the Icla DaSilva Foundation, Literacy Volunteers of America, Handfuls of Hope, and are Sunday School Teachers at their local church. These young ladies are also involved in pageantry. Maribel is the current Ms. Latina Galaxy and former Ms. Belleza Latina International 2013. Marisol is the current Ms. New Jersey Belleza Latina. They are proof that through hard work, dedication, and passion anything can be accomplished. In addition to their professional responsibilities and spending time with family and friends, their other interests include travelling, music, movies, reading and concerts. The Mari Twins think it is important to inspire, educate, motivate and support others. They strongly believe that anyone can achieve their goals. You can learn more about the Mari Twins and their work as Community Activists on