How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
From Thanksgiving to Christmas, we’re surrounded by sweet treats and sugary drinks! We bring cookies to the office, meet up with friends for cocktails, gather for elaborate holiday parties, and host long family dinners that can all tempt us to eat more than we usually do. Not to mention the checkout aisles at stores are stuffed with chocolate and other candy! With the onslaught of holiday foods and treats, learning how to indulge mindfully can be helpful. So, if holiday weight gain is something that’s on your mind, I have some tips to share! And, spoiler alert, it’s not about complete restriction! That said, feeling good and being healthy starts from within. Do what feels right for YOUR body.
This post is part of a 3-part series that will have you feeling your best before the holidays. In case you missed it, last month I focused on exercise in this post and getting rid of stubborn belly fat. In December I’ll focus on mindfulness. You CAN ring in the New Year knowing you feel and look your best!
Is Holiday Weight Gain Temporary?
There’s good news! You can avoid holiday weight gain! And you can keep the weight off without major dietary restrictions or counting calories. Instead of thinking about holiday foods as a chance for over-indulgence or complete restriction, work to change your thinking to include holiday meals in your daily food plan. If you know you’re going to have a big holiday meal, try to make balanced choices beforehand. Don’t “save up” the calories by not eating. That can lead to overeating later.
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine back in 2016, adults gain between 7 and 10 pounds during the holidays on average. The good news is that weight loss from the holidays is possible. To get rid of the extra pounds, you’ll need to practice good nutrition and engage in physical activity. Make sure you talk with a registered dietitian before starting a new diet, so you know you’re keeping your body safe and healthy!
4 Tips to Not Gain Weight During the Holidays
It’s easier to practice weight management than weight loss. These simple tips and tricks will help you step into the holidays with the right mindset around holiday foods and can help you keep the holiday weight off all season long!
#1) Decrease Bloating
Sometimes the bubble belly we see is less about weight and more about bloat. A small comfort when your party dress doesn’t fit quite the way you’d like it to! All of the salty foods and alcohol we consume can cause water retention and make us look and feel heavier. To avoid holiday bloat, cut back on those foods and focus on eating more fruits and vegetables. Don’t forget about fizzy drinks too! Champagne, sodas (the added sugars!), and even sparkling water can cause bloating. Those bubbles can get trapped and leave your belly looking poochy. If you really want to avoid bloat during the holiday season, stick with flat drinks.
#2) Stick To Your Workout
Working out regularly is another way to stop holiday weight gain. Not only do you torch some calories, but you also practice self-discipline. It’s that practice that will help you make better choices when you’re surrounded by holiday food. Building more lean muscle in your body will keep you looking fit, but it also nudges up your calorie burn. Working out can also help you deal with any stress that the holidays bring (I know it’s not just me!). It’s a great time to reaffirm any new boundaries you’re practicing and increase your endorphins at the same time.
#3) Eat Mindfully
Eating mindfully during the holidays can help keep off the holiday weight. Choose to eat the treats you really love, rather than every treat you have access to. And when you do indulge, savor the tastes and the experience. You can add to the moment by using beautiful or fun dishes and barware. They can elevate the experience without adding extra pounds. And don’t forget to make sure you consume enough protein. It helps you stay fuller longer, so you’ll be less likely to eat the entire tray of Snickerdoodles.
#4) Start January Early
There’s no rule that says you have to wait until January to begin your new health and fitness routine. If you’re holding out on eating healthier, starting an exercise program, or changing your mindset, you’re missing a jump start on your goals. If you go into the holidays already working on a healthy eating goal, you won’t be thinking about depriving yourself in January.
If you’re looking for an extra boost to help with your weight maintenance, keep reading for some products that will keep you feeling brighter than the prettiest tree!
How do you maintain your weight during the holidays? Which of these tips do you think will help you the most? Please share in the comments and let me know! Don’t miss out! Get our blog posts sent right to your inbox by clicking here to subscribe to the newsletter.