Holiday season is in full swing, which means that gaining pounds is right around the corner too, right? Wrong. You don’t have to gain weight because of the big holidays at the end of the year. You should keep yourself on track to maintain a healthy weight and eating habits, so you don’t have to swear by the new year’s resolution that you will hit the gym regularly – because let’s face it no one keeps those resolutions past March.
We want to help you stay on your weight loss goal even through the delicious dinners your family and friends are hosting. The holidays are a time for celebration and family – not to put on weight or become unhealthy. It’s almost as if we’ve come to accept that we’re going to put on weight during the holiday season. It’s commonly reported by the media that 5 pounds of body weight is gained during the holidays. This number can vary from one pound for normal-weight individuals and up to five pounds for obese.
Cornell University has done research and has concluded that the weight gain doesn’t just start on Thanksgiving, it starts in October. The researchers found that the participants’ weight began to rise throughout October and November, and peaked 10 days after Christmas. About half of that weight came off quickly after the holiday season ended, but the other half wasn’t lost until about five months later, after Easter. Let’s start making realistic holiday health resolutions now, so when the New Year comes, you’re already on track.
Ways that cause Holiday Weight Gain
- Trying to diet during the holidays – Doing this during the holidays is setting yourself up for sabotage. Why try to lose weight over the holidays when you have not been successful the rest of the year? Instead practice moderation.
- Starving yourself for the big meal or event – It may seem logical not to eat all day, so you can save room for the big family dinner this strategy usually backfires. Your brain begins to tell to eat, eat and eat because you see all the good food your held out for, but you also end up uncomfortable full. Instead eat your regular meals throughout the day so you don’t go overboard at dinner.
How can you beat holiday hunger?
With all the stress the holidays can you bring you are still able to fight back against gaining the unwanted pounds. Having the right skills going into a feast can help curb your cravings and overindulging ways. Here are a few strategies to get you started to handle a holiday weight gain disaster.
- Be realistic – Set realistic goals for yourself and your health. Have goals that you keep throughout the year and not just the holidays. Make it a lifestyle change not just for the holiday season.
- Do not expect perfection – Thinking that you will not eat any pie or any carbs during a dinner may be setting the bar to high. It’s okay to have a reasonable portion but don’t go overboard.
- Meal replacement – You can also replace one meal with a protein shake to keep you on your goal weight loss. This will also make sure you are not taking in to many unnecessary calories.
- Protein is key – Eating more protein during the holiday is essential in maintaining healthy weight. Especially after bariatric surgery. This is your excuse to eat your turkey and ham first.
- Load up on the veggies – Adding more veggies to plate will not only keep you healthy but keep you full, so you won’t go back for the second heaping. Avoiding corn, peas, carrots and beans which can be high in carbs.
The holidays are for fun and family. While you shouldn’t restrict yourself to the point that you will crack under the pressure of seeing dessert but don’t go overboard and gain weight because your family is in town. Maintaining healthy habits through the holidays will go over into the new year making a New Year’s resolution easier to keep.