7 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

It’s that time of year again- it’s cold, the food is good, and you’re spending more time with your family. The average American gains approximately 7 pounds during the holiday season. Here are seven tips to help avoid weight gain without causing disordered eating patterns:

 

  1. Stick to your regular schedule- This means eating like you normally would. Do not starve yourself throughout the week or skip meals the day of. You do not need to save calories for one meal. If you stick to your normal meals, you’re less likely to overindulge and it will make getting back on track easier.

  2. Stay Active- Make sure you do not allow to cold weather to make you inactive. Spend the holiday season getting up and moving. And no, you are not moving to make up for foods you ate. You are moving to feel better and keep active. We recommend weight lifting 2-5x a week as well as a little bit of cardio activity.

  3. Get Enough Sleep- Sleep is important for two reasons: one reason is your body recovers while you sleep, and another is because of the hormones that are produced while you sleep. Leptin is a hormone that signals fullness to the brain. When you don’t sleep enough, your body makes less leptin and more ghrelin, which causes you to feel more hungry.

  4. Keep Your Stress Low- Keeping your stress levels low is important because when stress is high, the hormone cortisol is released. Cortisol is a hormone that produces fat. Higher levels of stress also tends to make it harder for you to get enough restful sleep. Make sure to partake in relaxing self care techniques to keep your stress levels low.

  5.  Drink Enough Water- Our bodies are made up of water, your body needs water to help with several bodily functions. Make sure you keep your water consumption high during the holiday season(as well as all year).

  6. Enjoy Yourself- Restriction causes binging. Eat the foods that you enjoy. A few holiday meals over the course of two months will not cause you to gain a ton of weight. Be conscious and try your best to not overeat, but enjoy that piece of pie.

  7. Get Back to Your Regular Schedule- After your holiday meal is finished, it’s time to go about business as usual. Do not tell yourself that you already messed up. You didn’t mess up, you enjoyed a holiday with people you love. Just wake up, be active, and eat like you normally would. You do not need to exercise or restrict food to “make up” for things you ate.

 

Remember, it is so important to live your normal life during the holiday season. Don’t let these two months become a mess. Keep doing what you normal do and enjoy yourself at upcoming parties and events with your friends and family. Don’t spend all your time obsessing over food and enjoy living in the moment.

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