Healthy Ways to Reverse Holiday Weight Gain

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA   

Although the holidays are almost over, you may have some unwanted guests tagging along for the ride…that is one to two pounds of unwanted weight!


Here’s  a simple strategy to lose holiday weight gain and bloat!!

  • Eat Breakfast: If you’re a breakfast skipper you may feel ravenous by mid-morning and as a result overeat. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less, exercise more and feel more alert and ready for the day ahead. Keep it simple with a banana and peanut butter or egg on whole-wheat toast.
  • Portion control: It’s no secret that portions have gotten out of hand in the U.S. If you’re not quite sure how much you should be eating, use this easy rule of thumb: ½ plate vegetables, ¼ lean protein, ¼ complex carbohydrate.
  • Stay focused on being healthy, not on becoming thin. Many people become more successful at long term weight loss when their motivation changes from wanting to be thinner to wanting to be healthier. Change your mindset to think about selecting foods that will help your body’s health rather than worrying about foods that will affect your body’s weight
  • Cook at home more often: When you prepare meals at home you’ll experience a variety of benefits: greater control over ingredients and portions, control over your budget and time to bond with your family over food prep and table conversation.
  • Exercise: There’s no escaping it! 30-60 minutes a day five days a week.


Saucy Turkey over Spaghetti Squash


  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 ounces smooth tomato sauce/puree
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 scallions sliced thin



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Rub all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place flesh side-down on baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the spaghetti squash is tender. Let cool until cool enough to handle, then use two forks to pull apart spaghetti squash flesh into fine noodle-like strings.
  3. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat; add the bell pepper and onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Increase the heat to medium-high, crumble in turkey, season with salt and black pepper and cook until the meat is cooked through and no liquid remains in pot, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Plate spaghetti squash and spoon meat sauce over squash, sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve.

Recipe by: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA