How to Get Rid of Holiday Weight Gain

Do these simple things to kiss the extra holiday pounds goodbye

how to get rid of holiday weight gain

The holidays are coming to an end, and it dawned on you that you have gained extra pounds along the way.

You even started to mentally kick yourself for being reckless with your diet the whole time. You’re not alone.

What’s done is done. Now, you got yourself embraced by a layer of plumpness. But don’t let self-pity and disappointment bring you down. There are ways to help yourself to get out of this predicament. 

In this article, we’ll go over effective ways to shed off your holiday weight gain. Let’s start right away.

1. Create a resolution

Write your weight-loss objectives on paper. Experts recommend that your weight loss goals be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.  

The SMART goals help you define what you want to do and figure out how you are going to measure your progress. Here’s how to do it:

  • Specific. What kind of new habit do you want to achieve?
  • Measurable. How to measure and keep track of your progress?
  • Achievable. Are you sure that you have the necessary resources and information to reach your goal?
  • Realistic. Is it a realistic goal that is possible to attain?
  • Time-bound. How long and how often are you going to do this task? When is the deadline you expect your self to achieve the goals? 

Treat these objectives as a contract yourself that you are obligated to commit. 

For instance, you can say it this way:

“For the first two weeks of the month, I will cut my soft drinks consumption from 2 bottles per day to one bottle per day.”

“For the last two weeks of the month, I will cut my soda consumption from daily to three times a week.”

But that’s just an example of a goal. Make a list of your fitness goals and make sure you can commit yourself to it. Don’t be too tough on yourself – it’s a journey.

2. Target to lose 1-2 pounds per week

Many people would want to lose weight as soon as possible. 

Research points out that the sad part of short-cut weight-loss strategies and supplements is that they are neither safe nor practical.

Not only are they superficially influenced by the media, internet, and some fad diets, but also they have potentially adverse effects in the long run. 

You want immediate results, but you also have to consider whether it is safe for your body to follow such an advertised strategy.

Nutrition experts say that losing between around 1lb and 2lb a week, or between about 0.5kg and 1kg is the recommended safe weight loss rate.

If you lose faster than this, the more you put yourself at risk of health problems such as malnutrition, gallstones, and fatigue. 

Now, how to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week? It sounds simple as eat less, exercise more.

In a more profound sense, you need to cut 500 calories per day if you aim to lose 1 pound per week or 1,000 calories for 2 pounds per day. Use these values and deduct them to your total weight-maintenance calories.

3. Increase your fiber consumption

A study shows that consuming more fiber-rich foods will help you lose weight, stick to your diet, and prevents obesity.

Fiber will make you less hungry, as it slows down the movement of food throughout your digestive system. Hence, that reduces your tendency to take in more calories.

Foods rich in fiber are fruits, leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, lentils, whole grains, whole wheat bread, and brown rice. 

4. Never starve yourself

You might believe starving will help save calories, you’re wrong. Studies have shown that starving will only do worse than the right.

This is because it increases the tendency to unconsciously overeat in the next meal, and end up gaining weight over time. 

So, take your meals and don’t go intentionally hungry for the sake of weight loss.

It’s better to take a light snack instead. Have a serving of fruit a handful of nuts. If you want to get rid of the holiday weight gain, starving might not be the right approach.

5. Make up for all those sleepless holiday nights

It’s time to fix that habit of sleep deprivation. Why?

Studies support that not getting enough sleep in the long run will:

  • slow your metabolism down
  • alter your hormone levels by increasing your appetite and the body’s ability to store more fat storage

Hence, this will consequently lead to weight gain, especially over the holiday.

Sleep experts recommend that you have eight to ten hours of sleep so that your body can function well throughout the day and maintain a healthy weight. 

6. Get your body moving. Play and have fun!

When they have seriously decided to do active physical activities, combine aerobic exercise and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). 

Studies show that aerobic exercises and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) will prevent your metabolism from slowing down. Both exercises are essential for your weight loss routine.

Aerobic exercise will burn calories efficiently while high-intensity interval training (HIIT) will strengthen your muscles, increasing your resting energy expenditure (RER).

Don’t be a bummer. Distance away from your phone. Hit the stairs, join swim sessions, clean your house, declutter your room!

Doing such little things can help you get moving. It’s essential to get your body moving. To get better results, choose your type of exercise for both, as mentioned, and have fun!

7. Increase water intake

Boosting your metabolism will burn more calories. You can simply do this by increasing your water intake. 

In a study, water can accelerate thermogenesis up to 30% for one and a half hours after drinking half a liter of water. Hence, that can be translated to weight loss in the long run.

Generally, the famous rule of thumb of four-to-six cups per day applies to healthy people. However, as the saying goes, no size fits all. 

Recently, it is found that the daily water intake recommendations vary by age, sex, pregnancy, and breastfeeding status.

8. Snack the smarter way

This time, choose your snacks carefully. Choosing healthy snacks will give you more valuable nutrients to your diet.

Choose high-protein high fiber food because it is found that it can help satisfy your appetite if hunger strikes between significant meals.

Snacking on these kinds of foods will help reduce your intake of calories rather than eat snacks that are high in fat and sugar that will only contribute to weight gain.

9. Hold off on the alcohol

Perhaps your holiday weight gain is because of those late nights of partying and booze with your friends.

This time, do yourself a favor and minimize or cut yourself from the alcohol.

Research has confirmed that reducing your alcohol intake can help control your diet and minimize your tendency to overeat.

And if you are serious about going physically active, then tone down or if you can, stop drinking alcohol.

A study revealed that alcohol can ruin your weight loss efforts by disabling your body from burning fat. As a result, it can potentially trigger hunger, and you might end up making poor food choices. 

10. Use active coping strategies

At this point, you should stop blaming yourself for getting heavy over the holidays. Treat weight loss a journey. This is a self-paced journey that requires time and patience. 

Making changes in your lifestyle is quite a challenge. Going through this journey requires coping strategies to make it successful. 

Stick to your goals as much as possible. Monitory yourself and pay attention to the barriers that hinder your behavior change.

Keep track of your food intake and exercise routines. Be aware of the changes and progress as you go on and find ways to maintain new-found behaviors. 

Keep your fire burning, and never stop believing in yourself. And from time to time, reward yourself for the little progress you make. 

Takeaway

The moment you decide to deal with your holiday weight gain is a good start. Use the ideas in this as a guide you to a safe, healthy, and effective weight loss journey.

The beginning of the modification of your lifestyle will be tough at first, but that’s normal.  

Enough about regretting and beating yourself up because you had your joyful share of delicious cuisines during the holidays.

Now is the moment to get yourself moving and to be more conscious of your food intake. Remove the idea that losing weight is torture.

Instead, program your mindset that you aim for a better version of yourself – the healthier way. 

Keep your fire burning until you reach your weight loss and fitness goals. It will surely be worth it. 

(Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian)

Dorothy is a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian and a candidate for a master's degree in Public Health (MPH) major in Public Health Nutrition. She has a passion for teaching to her university students about food, nutrition, and health. Dorothy is a coffee lover and she enjoys traveling, writing, cycling, running, cooking, baking, and cooking.