The holidays are all about tradition:  the smell of the turkey in the oven; the sweet potato recipe you remember from childhood; the crowds huddled outside early on Black Friday to get the best shopping deals; Christmas music.

And, sadly, weight gain.

We’re all familiar with the uncomfortable bloat that greets us after each holiday meal.  Multiply that feeling by an ever-expanding schedule of office parties, family parties, open houses and New Year’s Eve bashes, and it’s no wonder that the average adult gains at least 5 lbs. during the holiday season each year. 

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This year, let’s institute a new professional tradition for the holidays to replace the baskets of swag our drug reps used to bring.  Rather than accepting our patients’ – and, um, our own –  seemingly inevitable weight gain, let’s consider this a good time to implement positive change. 

Abundant magazine articles suggest ways to eat healthily during the holidays.  Woman’s Day even offers a special do-anywhere Thanksgiving workout. Cleveland Clinic is way ahead of the curve in offering a simple, useful list of suggestions for avoiding holiday weight gain. 

Whether you adapt (or simply print and copy) the Cleveland Clinic tips, compile your own or direct patients to other web-based weight loss tools, you’ll be starting a positive trend before January’s remorse sets in.