It is that time of year again when extra calories are lurking around every corner. Frosted cookies at work, eggnog at a friend’s house, or jelly doughnuts. If you’re like most Americans, you will gain a pound or two by New Year’s day because of all these extras.
So what’s the harm in gaining a pound or two over the holidays?
According to National Institutes of Health studies, most Americans never lose the weight gained during the winter holidays. So, holiday weight gain is a significant contributor to adult obesity.
There is, however, a way to avoid falling into this trap. It is possible to eat all your favorite holiday treats without gaining a pound.
Although going on portion control is difficult when there are so many tempting options available. This article has a list of tips to help you avoid overindulgence.
Exercise is one of the first things to forget when holiday activities pick up, and prepare for some time away from the office. Even if you don’t have time for an hour-long cycle class or your regular yoga session, try something. Even though it won’t wash away all the additional calories, you’re consuming.
Research shows that regular exercise can help prevent some of the metabolic impacts of overeating. With working out, resist the all-or-nothing mentality and do what you can. You can even do it in your living room for a short time. To make things easier, enlist the help of a close friend.
According to one study, working out with a partner can help you get more active, especially if they offer encouragement and support. Decide to take an afternoon walk or sign up for group exercise classes once a week with a friend. If you’re unable to meet up in person, consider doing a virtual check-in to keep each other motivated.
If you have had a few drinks, alcohol might incline you to indulge in the baked goodies than initially intended. That is not all; alcohol can cause sleep problems, which might affect your appetite and dietary choices.
That next day’s hangover could influence your eating choices as well. When possible, limit yourself to one drink per day and avoid sugary mixers. They can worsen the effects of alcohol.
Monitor Your Weight
You may not realize that you have gained a pound or two, but your scale can. It is why monitoring your weight can become beneficial in keeping you from gaining weight.
A new study involving 1,000 adults found that daily weigh-ins resulted in minor but significant weight loss over a year. Even though the participants were not specifically advised to reduce weight.
Certainly, if the scale causes you to feel anxious or if it disrupts your emotional well-being, it’s not the right tool for you. However, if you can look at the numbers objectively, the scale can be a valuable tool for monitoring your progress and preventing weight gain.
Practice Mindful Meditation
The holidays may be a stressful time of year for many people. Even if the extra activities are enjoyable, they can place a burden on your schedule. According to research, stress can contribute to poor food choices.
It also affects hormones that cause you to retain belly fat. According to a new study, mindfulness practice can help reduce stress and lessen cravings. To cope with holiday or family stress, set aside a few minutes to practice guided meditation.
Eat More Veggies
Starchy foods get a lot of attention at the holiday table but add more non-starchy vegetable dishes into your meal plans. Examples such as green beans, roasted cauliflower, and garden salad. Non-starchy vegetables are filling because of their fiber and water content.
They can help you eat less of the starchier holiday staples like mashed potatoes and pie. Non-starchy veggies should make up half of your plate, with lean protein and high-carb meals taking up the other quarter. This compromise is ideal because it does not demand giving up your favorite foods.
The Bottom Line
Make sure you play it smart this holiday season and always have a strategy. You may avoid Christmas weight gain and perhaps start your New Year’s plans a pound or two early by making tiny changes.
Each of these suggestions can be a long-term addition to a healthy lifestyle. It will keep you healthy, happy, and on track with your weight loss goals.