It is a common concern that many adults have during the holidays when it comes to ways to avoid weight gain.
Different holidays can encourage many unhealthy behaviors such as overeating, sedentary behavior, and the consumption of foods high in calories. It is estimated that between mid-November and mid-January, adults in western societies gain an average of one pound (0.5 kg).
Even though it may not seem like a lot, some people are unable to get rid of this excess baggage in their life. Therefore, holidays — no matter the time of year — may be one of the biggest contributors to your total annual weight gain. It should be noted, however, that holiday weight gain isn’t unavoidable.
8 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain During Holidays
Here are 8 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain and prevent you from picking up any added pounds during the holiday season.
1) Get Active With Friends And Family
It is a common practice for many families to participate in sedentary activities, such as sitting on the couch watching television, during the holiday season.
There is a possibility that inactivity contributes to weight gain, especially if it is accompanied by overeating as well.
It could prove to be beneficial for weight management to engage in some type of physical activity with your family members. Even something as simple as going on a family walk can allow you to disconnect your mind from food and enhance your relationship with your family members. Staying active during the holidays can also be accomplished by signing up for workplace fitness events or community-wide fitness events.
2) Make Smart Snack Choices
You will often find during the holiday season that unhealthy foods such as cookies and other kinds of confections are readily available for you to take as you please.
When you have easy access to treats, even if you do not need them, you will be more likely to snack unnecessarily.
In order to solve this problem, keep treats out of sight so that you will not be tempted to snack unnecessarily. On the other hand, that strategy is more difficult to avoid when the situations are all out of your control, such as at your workplace or when you’re at your family’s house for a party.
Be mindful of what you snack on when you are at home. As a rule of thumb, if you are finding you are munching just because there is food around – and not because you are hungry – it is best to just skip snacking altogether.
Nevertheless, if you are hungry and need a snack, choose real foods rather than fake ones. It is always wise to include fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds in your snack menu since they provide you with filling snacks and do not contain added sugars or unhealthy fats, both of which can lead to weight gain.
3) Don’t Overeat
During the holidays as it is easy to fill yourself up with too much food.
Large portions tend to lead to weight gain more easily than those who eat small portions.
Using smaller plates or controlling portion sizes is the best way to combat this problem.
Be sure to read the nutrition label and the serving size recommendation on recipes before determining an appropriate portion size. In the event that neither option is available, use your best judgment to fill your plate with a reasonable amount of food.
4) Take Plenty Of Naps
In the holiday season, there is often a good deal of sleep deprivation, which contributes to weight gain.
As a result, people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be hungry, to consume more calories, and exercise less.
Restriction of sleep could increase your hunger hormone levels, ultimately resulting in greater calorie consumption.
Additionally, sleep deprivation has been associated with slower metabolisms.
You may be experiencing this issue as a result of an altered circadian rhythm – a biological clock that regulates many of your body functions.
5) Manage Your Stress Levels
During the holidays, it can be stressful to keep up with the demands.
Individuals suffering from stress tend to produce high levels of cortisol, a hormone that’s released as a result of stress. Cortisol levels that are consistently high can lead to weight gain, as they have been associated with greater intake of food.
A stressful lifestyle may also make a person crave junk food more often.
Thus, it’s important to keep your stress levels under control throughout the year – and especially during the holidays, when you might be busy and surrounded by unhealthy foods.
You can reduce your stress levels with a variety of techniques. For instance, you can do yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.
6) Invest In Fiber
Another nutrient important for feeling full is fiber. According to some studies, increased fiber consumption can reduce total calorie intake, which could prevent weight gain over the holidays.
Unfortunately, many common holiday foods don’t provide enough fiber. You should eat fiber-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
7) Limit Your Taste Testing
It is common for people to spend a lot of time baking and cooking over the holiday season.
There is no question that this can result in weight gain since it is easy to taste-test your dishes. You can consume thousands of calories with even a small portion of your holiday dishes.
Whether you’re cooking for yourself or for others, tasting your dishes can be important – but a tiny taste will probably do. Also, make sure you are not hungry while cooking, because it’s much easier to go overboard on taste-testing when your stomach is growling.
8) Make Sure You Bring A Healthy Dish To Share.
During holiday parties, it can be easy to overindulge – or to indulge in fattening, high-calorie foods.
In any event, you have the power to control what you consume. A simple trick to controlling what you consume is bringing a healthy dish to share. If you do this, then you’ll be sure to eat food that will help you reach your weight loss goals.
The Bottom Line
Staying on top of your weight goals during the holiday season can seem daunting, but there are multiple tips and tricks you can follow to stay healthy, happy, and weight-conscious.
Beyond general diet advice, make sure you’re getting plenty of exercises and limiting your intake of holiday treats as well. It is possible, if you are diligent, to not only avoid weight gain but to even Ways to Avoid Weight Gain during this festive season.