Holiday Weight Gain – Win the Battle This Holiday Season
Many people have a love/hate relationship with the holidays. While enjoying the festivities with family and friends, there is all the preparation, the stress, and of course, the food. Looking forward to tasting those holiday favorites can be a cause of anxiety for those trying to maintain or lose weight. If concern over holiday weight gain is putting a damper on your holiday spirit, you might be surprised to hear that according to the Journal of Obesity, most people only gain an average of between .5 to 2 pounds during the holidays. This can be more for those with a significant amount of weight to lose. It helps to have a battle plan to keep those extra pounds at bay.
Keep Holiday Weight Gain in Check
The first line of defense is to keep holiday weight gain to a minimum. There are many different tactics you can use to do this from watching what you eat to being more active. The sheer abundance of food options at the holidays can really increase the urge to overindulge. While you may not normally have that many choices at one time, it is important to remember that you can enjoy many of the same foods throughout the rest of the year. Keeping that in mind might help you to avoid binging on year-round staples like mashed potatoes and gravy.
Desserts and other sweets are another huge temptation during the holidays. Be choosey about which ones you want to spend your calories on. Pick a couple of favorites and limit the portion size. It also helps to keep your activity level up. Instead of going back for seconds or taking a food-induced nap, put your coat on, and take a walk or gather up your guests away from the table for games and conversation.
Taking it Off After the Holidays
For some people, gaining a pound or two may be unavoidable. That’s no reason to surrender to holiday weight gain. The steps you take after the holidays to get rid of those extra pounds can be equally as important as those taken to avoid them. It can take a few weeks or a few months depending on a person’s lifestyle and metabolism to shed holiday weight gain. However, it is important to make a conscious effort to do so or you’ll still be carrying them around next holiday season. Here are some tips to help prevent that from happening.
Eat a healthy breakfast. This is a great way to get a good start on the day and control your hunger. Choose foods that contain high-quality protein, about 20 grams or more, and at least 6 grams of fiber. Some recommendations are eggs, fiber-rich veggies, whole wheat English muffins, or a tasty Greek yogurt topped off with berries and a sprinkle of high protein low sugar granola.
Don’t scrimp on sleep. On average, adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. Lack of sleep can cause your metabolism to slow down and lead to an imbalance of our nightly hormones, ghrelin, and leptin. Ghrelin tells you when to eat and leptin tells you when to stop. A lack of sleep causes ghrelin levels to increase and leptin levels to decrease which typically results in overeating.
Keep a food journal. There are a variety of fitness apps that can help you do this or you can go old school and use a pen and paper. Either way, tracking everything you eat is a great way to make you accountable and keep you on the right track. By adding times to your journal entries, you can identify the areas of the day when your willpower is weaker. You can then opt for a healthier snack or exercise to combat those moments of weakness.
Win the Holiday Weight Gain Battle
Not only can these weight loss tips help you combat holiday weight gain but they can be helpful all year long. If you’ve been struggling with your weight and haven’t had any weight loss success on your own, it might be time to consult with your doctor. Self-supervised weight loss plans don’t work for everyone. Your doctor can determine if a medical weight loss plan is right for you.
Long-term success will depend on permanent changes in your day-to-day life. The hardest part, however, is the first step. Getting started on your weight loss journey must begin somewhere. At Vive Aesthetics and Wellness, that first step starts at your consultation. Dr. Pinto’s philosophy is to give you the jumpstart you need to achieve and then maintain a healthy weight. After all, isn’t that what you want? Why wait? Finish out the holidays armed for success.