Holiday weight gain is a prevailing concern. Seasonal holidays encourages us overeating, sedentary behaviour and include calorie-rich foods. And this ultimately causes weight gain and which many people don’t tend to lose even after holidays. Though gaining holiday weight is inevitable, here is a list of 12 actual methods to avoid gaining weight during holidays and festive season.
12 Actual Methods To Avoid Gaining Weight During Holidays and Festive Season
1. Exercise regularly
The most effective way to lose and maintain body weight is exercising regularly. To burn off the extra calories we consume during festivities, try to kick up your exercises by increasing the time you spent for exercise. If you exercise 30 minutes a day, step up to 45 minutes. If you exercise 3 or 4 times a week, move it to 5 times a week.
Try to include walking or taking the stairs as much as you, to include as many exercising as possible throughout the day. You can also fire up some music and dance to it since it is the festival season anyway.
2. Stay active with family and friends
Sedentary activities, such as sitting on the couch while watching TV might contribute to overeating and weight gain. Staying active with family and friends serves as an exercise gets your mind off food and allows you to bond with your loved ones.
3. Balance meals with protein
Holiday meals are usually rich in carbs and low in protein. So, it is essential to include protein with every meal to promote fullness, which is also useful for weight maintenance. Eating protein helps in reducing appetite and hunger (1).
Protein also helps in weight control since it boosts metabolism and increases appetite reducing hormones (2). Good sources of protein include meat, chicken, fish, beans, quinoa and pulses.
4. Snack wisely
During festivals, unhealthy snacks such as cookies and chocolates is exchanged between families and friends. So, it gives us more access to snack easily as well as unnecessarily.
Even though it is impossible to complete rule out your temptation, try to snack as little as possible if you feel hungry and keep the treats out of sight. Try to be mindful of your snacking habits.
5. Focus on fiber-rich foods
Fiber is yet another nutrition essential for inducing fullness. Increased dietary fiber intake results in lower calorie intake, which helps prevent weight gain during holidays. (3)
Many festival sweets and foods aren’t rich in fibres, so make sure to include fiber-rich foods like legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
6. Practice mindful eating and portion control
Festivities is the time to gain weight easily since everyone tend to overload our plates with food. The best way to prevent this is to control portion sizes or using small plates for eating. Foods labels or recipes usually tell you the serving size, the amount of food recommended for an individual.
Since people are in a rush during holidays, it tends to multitasking. Eating with distractions can lead to overeating since they’re unable to pay attention to their body’s fullness sings (4).
To prevent this, try eating chew slowly and thoroughly, which will allow you to better recognize your body’s fullness signals and consume fewer calories (5).
7. Limit your dessert intake
Desserts are everywhere during holidays, This leads to excessive sweet consumption, which ultimately leads to weight gain (6).
Limit your desserts as much as you can and take time in enjoying your sweets to make you feel satisfied and less likely to eat more.
8. Modify your recipes to healthier ones
Instead of store bought festival snacks and food, try to make them at home and healthier as possible. Here are some simple tips to reduce calories:
- Prefer cooking methods like baking, steaming, or grilling instead of frying.
- Flavor dishes with herbs and spices instead of butter.
- Opt for low-fat or skim milk instead of heavy cream.
- Replace cream cheese and mayo with Greek yogurt.
- Instead of sugar, use a lower-calorie substitute such as stevia, erythritol, or xylitol.
- Add dried fruit instead of chocolate chips or candies.
- Replace butter with mashed banana, applesauce or pumpkin puree.
9. Limit liquid calories
During holidays, including soda, alcohol and other calorie-rich beverages is prevalent. So, try to avoid the sugary drinks and calories that comes along these drinks that might contribute to your weight gain (7).
If you are trying to control your weight during the holidays, try to limit and avoid beverages as possible.
10. Weigh yourself regularly
Stepping on the scale helps you remind you of your weight goals, allows you to be self-conscious of the food you should be consuming to lose or maintain weight. Studies suggest that people who weigh themselves regularly maintain and lose weight better than those who don’t weigh themselves (8).
11. Get plenty of sleep
Inadequate sleep also contributes to lower metabolism, die to alterations on circadian rhythm a biological clock that regulates bodily functions (11).
12. Control your stress levels
Keeping up with holidays and festivals can be stressful. Stressed individuals have high levels of cortisol, a hormone thats released with stress. It can cause weight gain and induces higher calorie intake (12, 13). A stressful lifestyle causes more cravings for junk food (14).
For this reason, it is essential to keep down your stress levels for both physical and mental health. Some of the common effective techniques to reduce stress are dancing, exercise, meditation and yoga.