Let’s be real; it’s not easy to come out of the holidays in better shape than when we entered it.
The urge to have one more snack during the holidays can seem irrepressible for many. That’s understandable because it’s holidays, we all want to enjoy it.
Nonetheless, it is possible to enjoy the holidays without gaining weight. You don’t know how? Don’t worry; we’ll show you how.
Weight gain during the holidays
Many people pay close attention to their weight, and rightfully so. But during the holidays, it becomes markedly more difficult because food is lying everywhere. Everywhere!
Don’t be too hard on yourself for gaining weight during the holidays.
A study has shown that adults in Western societies, on average, gain one pound between November and January.
Looking at it, it doesn’t seem like much, but the issue is that many people don’t lose this extra weight, and that’s what is concerning.
Some may gain as much as 15 pounds during the holidays and then have a hard time shedding that weight after the holidays because of work, social, and some other commitments.
When you put that in perspective, the person may be at risk of obesity after three years.
You can, and should, avoid weight gain during the holidays. We promised to show you how, and we will.
Tips for getting through the holidays without gaining weight
1. Drink water
Don’t underestimate the power of water in weight loss.
Studies have drawn a link between water consumption and weight loss. This makes sense primarily because water can suppress appetite.
Aside from suppressing appetite, water can also help to flush out wastes from the body.
Drinking water also increases the amounts of calories you burn and plays a huge part in effective workouts.
It is easy for many to resort to taking sugary drinks and other high-calorie drinks during the holidays.
If you want to get through the holidays without gaining weight, you may have to cut down on those and replace them with water as much as possible.
2. Keep calorie intake low before parties
Parties are one of the most interesting parts of the holidays. And not just parties now, as people also look forward to get-togethers, family reunions, picnics, etc.
It is difficult to keep away from food during parties, and we won’t advise you to. But keep your calorie intake low before the party.
Some experts suggest meal timing so you give yourself a 16-hour window of no calories before you go for a party.
If you keep to the window, you will not have to worry so much about what you are eating during the party.
3. Increase workout time
Yes, you have to work out during the holidays. This is not negotiable.
And by workout, you don’t necessarily have to go to gyms or put in intense sessions, but you must remain physically active.
Sedentary behaviors usually characterize holidays. Many people sit and lie around watching TV the whole time.
Inactivity can lead to weight gain, especially if the individual also overeats in this period. Get active, play a sport, sign for races, swim, just don’t lie around.
4. Sleep adequately
There is a link between inadequate sleep and weight gain. And it’s not a complex one.
Inadequate sleep makes people hungrier, which makes people take in more calories and exercise less, which makes people gain weight.
And it gets worse. There is also a link between sleep deprivation and lower metabolism. Your metabolism levels need to be high during the holidays.
So there you have it, we managed to oversell sleep!
5. Balance your diet with proteins and fibers
Proteins and fibers are popular in the meals of weight-shedders, and for good reason too.
Proteins and fibers promote fullness, meaning there is a lower risk of you overeating.
Many holiday meals and snacks are poor in fiber and protein, so you will have to find a way to incorporate them (protein and fiber) into your diet.
Examples of protein-rich foods are meat, fish, beans, and chicken.Examples of fiber-rich foods are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
6. Watch your weight regularly
Watch your weight regularly in this context means weigh yourself regularly.
Weighing yourself regularly during the holidays is important because it serves as a reminder of the weight goals you have set for yourself.
If you are aware of your weight, you will know when you have exceeded or moving dangerously close to your weight limit. It’s kind of like a wake-up call.
A study has also shown that weighing yourself regularly will make you shed (and maintain) your weight better than people who don’t.
7. Limit taste-testing
If you are the type that is going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen, then you must be wary of this.
No, we are not saying you shouldn’t taste your dishes, but limit it. Take one bite where you can take three.
You should also not cook while hungry. Trust us; it is disaster-bound.
8. Lower dessert consumption
Desserts are typically very high in sugars and total calories. They are usually abundant during the holidays.
Taking too much sugar will lead to you gaining weight, but you already know that, don’t you?
Everyone loves desserts, so how then to go about it? Don’t eat every snack or treat you see. Eat only the ones you love, and eat them slowly.
Take your time and enjoy them. Doing this will reduce your risk of overeating while also satisfying your taste buds.
9. Get a buddy
The buddy system is a good way of maintaining and losing weight, and this also applies during the holidays.
Finding someone who has the same weight and fitness goals as you can lead to more success in maintaining your weight as it keeps you motivated all through the holidays.
The buddy can be anyone, a friend, a family member, a colleague, just make sure you are comfortable with the person.
10. Eat mindfully
One of the commonest reasons people overeat is that they eat while distracted.
Distractions while eating means less attention to when you have exceeded your filling point.
The body naturally sends signals when you are full. But doing many other things at the same time you are eating means your attention is going to be divided, and you are likely to ignore those signals.
Studies show that eating mindfully reduces your risk of gaining weight. You should also eat slowly, as rushing your meals will also increase the chances of overeating.
The holidays can be dangerous times for weight watchers because of the risk of gaining weight increases significantly.
Notwithstanding, going through the holidays without gaining weight is far from impossible. But you need to be dedicated.
You need to know that watching your weight during the holidays is not consigning you to a boring holiday.
You can, and should, still enjoy yourself. Just don’t throw caution to the wind when it comes to weight gain.