Suggestions for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Many adults are concerned about weight gain especially during the holidays.

Numerous seasonal holidays may encourage overeating, sedentary behavior, and the consumption of calorie-dense foods. The vast majority of people do not purge their homes of excess baggage. As a result, holidays — regardless of season — may account for a substantial portion of your annual weight gain.

With that said, holiday weight gain is not a foregone conclusion. The following are some tips to assist you in avoiding holiday weight gain.

Maintain a social life that is active with family and friends

Many families’ holiday traditions revolve around sedentary activities like sitting on the couch and watching television. Inactivity, particularly when combined with binge eating, can contribute to weight gain.

Participating in some type of physical activity with your family may aid in weight maintenance. Even something as simple as a family walk can divert your attention away from food and foster family bonding.

Additionally, you can stay active during the holidays by participating in a work- or community-sponsored fitness event. Races are extremely popular.

Consume snacks prudently

Throughout the holiday season, unhealthy snacks such as cookies and other treats are readily available.
When treats are readily available, the likelihood of overeating increases.

This problem can be resolved at home by concealing treats. This strategy becomes more challenging to employ in situations over which you have no control, such as at work or a family gathering.

Make a conscious effort to keep an eye on your snacking habits. If you find yourself snacking simply because food is nearby — rather than because you are hungry — it is best to abstain entirely from snacking.

However, if you’re hungry and in need of a snack, opt for real foods. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are nutritious snacks that contain no added sugars or unhealthy fats that can contribute to weight gain.

Maintain a close eye on your portion sizes

It’s easy to find yourself with an overflowing plate during the holidays. Individuals who consume larger portions easily gain weight than those who do not.

To combat this, the most effective strategy is to restrict portion sizes or to use smaller plates. To determine an appropriate portion size, read food labels and the recommended serving sizes listed on recipes. If you are unable to do either, pack a reasonable amount of food onto your plate using your best judgment.

Consume with caution

During the holiday season, people are frequently pressed for time, which frequently results in mealtime multitasking.
Individuals who eat while distracted are more likely to overeat, according to studies. This is because they are incapable of detecting their bodies’ fullness signals.

To avoid this, eat mindfully and limit distractions — including work and electronic devices — to a minimum. By chewing slowly and thoroughly, you can consume fewer calories. This will assist you in recognizing your body’s signals of fullness and consuming fewer calories.

Additionally, taking a few deep breaths prior to eating may be beneficial. This can assist you in relaxing and concentrating entirely on the task at hand rather than on your to-do list. Numerous studies demonstrate that those who engage in mindful eating have a lower risk of weight gain.

Get enough sleep

Insomnia, which is prevalent during the holidays, can contribute to weight gain.

This is because those who do not get enough sleep are more likely to be hungry, consume more calories, and exercise less. Sleep deprivation may result in an increase in hunger hormones, resulting in an increase in calorie intake.

Additionally, inadequate sleep has been linked to a slowed metabolism. This could be a result of changes in your circadian rhythm, a biological clock that controls a large number of your bodily functions.

Control your stress levels

Trying to meet holiday obligations can be stressful. Individuals who are stressed frequently have increased cortisol levels, a stress hormone. Cortisol levels that remain elevated for an extended period of time have been linked to increased food intake, which may contribute to weight gain.

Additionally, a stressful lifestyle may increase cravings for junk food. For these reasons, stress management is critical throughout the year — but especially during the holidays, when you may be busy and surrounded by unhealthy foods.
Numerous techniques exist to aid in stress reduction. Exercising, meditating, practicing yoga, and deepening one’s breath are just a few examples.

Continue to consume a protein-balanced diet

Holiday meals are frequently high in carbohydrates but low in protein. Protein, on the other hand, is critical to include in each meal because it promotes fullness and may aid in weight maintenance. Indeed, protein with meals may assist you in consuming fewer calories by reducing hunger and appetite.

Protein is also beneficial for weight loss because it increases metabolic rate and levels of appetite-suppressing hormones. Each meal should contain at least 1 ounce (25–30 grams) of protein to reap these weight-management benefits.

Meat, poultry, fish, and some plant-based foods such as beans and quinoa are all high in protein.

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