It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, which means one thing: thanksgiving dinners and legendary Christmas parties! Maintaining a healthy diet might be pretty challenging this season, coupled with the lazy winter weather. While it may seem like the worst time of the year to be concerned about your diet, this may not be the case. Consuming all the foods you choose without feeling guilty or remorseful is possible with the appropriate strategy. Don’t let the thought of gaining weight over the holidays keep you from having a good time. The examples that follow are some of the most common causes of holiday and winter weight gain and some potential solutions to the problem.
Common Reasons Why People Gain Weight During the Holiday
1. Cold Weather. Many of us would rather stay home and read a book by the fire than venture out into the cold. Many people give up their active lifestyles when the weather becomes colder. ” They stop walking with their companion every few days, or they stop playing tennis or running.
2. Holiday Meals. Every year, parties and get-togethers take place that is fueled by heavy consumption of alcohol and food. By New Year’s, you’ve probably gotten used to the tired sensation after a holiday binge-eating marathon. That holiday feasting also leaves its imprint. According to research published in The New England Journal of Medicine, people gain an average of one pound during the holiday season.
3. Holiday Drinks. Flavor, aroma, and hot toddies are seasonal staples, but overindulgence is all too simple and comes at a high price. To avoid overindulging in booze, Smith suggests sipping on water in the days leading up to and immediately following your holiday gatherings. If you’re going to a happy hour or party, establish a limit on how many drinks you’ll have so you don’t overindulge.
4. Holiday Treats. When you see your coworkers face-to-face, they may start bringing in baked goods and candies, which means that your workstation will be stuck with deliciously tempting sweets for the next three weeks. Even if you’re not for the celebration, they might send some goodies to everyone’s houses instead. All your willpower needs to be put into action at this point. But instead of fighting your desires, put nutritious snacks in your desk drawer and treat yourself occasionally.
5. Special Coffee Drinks. Pumpkin spice lattes had already returned before the first fall leaf had changed color. In addition, when the seasons change from autumn to winter, so do the number of sweetened specialty coffee beverages. Though tempting, fancy lattes will add calories to your day, so try to hold off on indulging. Choose the smallest size and ask the barista to cut down the sugar in half if you must treat yourself now and then.
6. Sugar is Everywhere. Whether it’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other holiday, food is a big part of the celebration. An essential part of this process is weighing your options and deciding on the one you cannot go without. “Stick to what you genuinely want to eat and drink.
7. Metabolism Increases. If you’re not careful, a sudden increase in metabolism can cause weight gain rather than fat loss. According to Dutch researchers at Maastricht University, our metabolism speeds up during the holidays and in the winter to help us stay warm. Because our bodies use more energy, we need to eat more to keep up. You may be hungrier, but your metabolism isn’t quite up to the task of countering that second helping of mashed potatoes.
8. Fancy Dinner Dates. It’s hardly a secret that we eat more calories when we go out than when we cook for ourselves. For a few months, the cold weather limits your options for date night activities, so you’re more likely to choose a meal at a restaurant. As a result, you and your honey are more likely to overeat because you’re spending more time at different restaurants. When going to the movies, consider dividing your entrée or skipping the snacks to avoid overeating.
9. Holiday Seasoned and Flavored Foods. People get into a frothy frenzy over the holidays when they’re inundated with pumpkin spice and apple cider. A slew of muffins, bread, cakes, and donuts recipes start clogging up your social media feeds and pushing you to try new things in the kitchen. This seasonal pastime could lead to weight gain if you don’t watch your portion sizes. In place of making new dishes each week, choose one and invite friends and family around to eat it with you.
10. Skipping Meals. It’s a holiday tradition to indulge in a bounty of delectable treats. Why celebrate Thanksgiving or any other holiday if you aren’t going to be stuffed for the next three hours? Many people skip meals to keep their diets in check in preparation for a late-night binge. However, this isn’t advisable to avoid overeating, “pretend like the overeating is not going to happen,” Smith advises.
Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight During the Holiday Season
1. Be Active.
Many families’ Christmas traditions include sedentary pastimes like watching TV on the couch. The combination of inactivity and overeating will result in weight gain. Getting your family involved in physical activity might help you maintain a healthy weight. Even a simple walk around the block with your family will help you forget about food and connect with your loved ones. In addition, participating in a holiday-themed fitness event at work or in your neighborhood can help you stay in shape while celebrating the season.
2. Eat Wisely.
During the holidays, it’s easy to overindulge in sugary treats like cookies and other baked goods. Keeping goodies out of sight at home can help alleviate this issue. However, avoiding this tactic is more difficult when you have no control, such as at work or at a family gathering. Avoid snacking if you find yourself eating because there’s food nearby rather than because you’re hungry. When it comes to a snack, eat actual food rather than relying on junk food. Snacks like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are nutritious because they don’t include any sugar or fat that can make you gain weight.
3. Watch the amount of food you eat.
It’s easy to get carried away with the festivities and end up with a ton on your plate. Therefore, smaller plates or limiting portion sizes are the most effective ways to combat this problem. Moreover, during the Christmas season, many people rush around and end up multitasking while they eat. According to research, people who eat while distracted are more prone to overeat. Because they ignore their body’s fullness cues, they cannot recognize when they’re full. To avoid this, eat attentively and avoid distractions, such as work and other devices, while you eat your meals. Taking a few deep breaths before eating can also be beneficial. It can help you unwind and focus your energy on the task at hand rather than daydreaming about all the things you still must complete.
4. Get enough sleep.
It is also possible to gain weight during the holidays due to sleep deprivation. As a result, folks who do not get enough sleep tend to eat more and exercise less frequently. You may overeat because your hunger hormones are increased if you don’t get enough sleep.
5. Limit Taste-Testing Activities.
During the holidays, many individuals devote much time to cooking and baking. To be expected, this can contribute to weight gain because it’s easy to taste-test your dishes while cooking. Even the tiniest snatches of holiday fare can pack on the pounds. It’s crucial to taste your food, especially if you’re preparing for others, but you only need a tiny bit. Cooking is a great time to avoid overindulging in taste-testing, but you should also avoid getting too hungry.
You don’t have to punish yourself this Christmas season by enforcing a strict diet or blaming yourself for eating incredible food. The tips mentioned above can help you stay healthy, happy, and mindful of your weight goals throughout the holiday season, even though they may seem difficult at first. This holiday season, you may find that you’ve not only avoided weight gain but have shed weight as well if you’re careful. In addition to that, don’t stop trying! Regarding fitness, there’s no such thing as a one-and-done experience. Fitness and weightlifting are both enjoyable experiences. Make it a delightful experience for everyone involved. Doing so increases your likelihood of completing the task at hand. The holidays are a great time to remember that you don’t have to pile on the pounds!