Preventing Holiday Weight Gain

cookiesThe holidays are in full swing which also means holiday feasting! During the holidays it is easy to lose track of food consumption and the end result is a tipping of the scale. However, according to the New England Journal of Medicine the average feaster gains on average only one pound. Sadly the weight that is gained during the holidays is typically not lost over the year. Through the years the accumulated weight gain during the holidays can have a huge impact on one’s health leading to numerous chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes.

It is much easier to prevent weight gain than it is to lose the unwanted weight. Here are a few tips for enjoying the holidays without doing major damage to your waistline and your health.

Be Realistic.
During the holidays focus on maintaining your weight rather than losing. If you set realistic goals odds are you will stick to them. Set yourself up for success rather than failure.

Stay Active.
It may get rough finding time to exercise. Make it a priority. Exercise can help relieve stress which in turn can help reduce stressed induced eating.

Don’t go hungry.
Saving your appetite for a feast only leads to over-eating. Have a small snack before arriving to your party to prevent over indulgence.

Drink Water.
Water is your best friend and by far the healthiest beverage you can drink. Opt for a tall glass of water rather than a glass of soda or some other kind of sugary drink. Studies show that consuming two glasses of water before every meal cuts down in caloric consumption and aids in weight loss!

No is the magic word.
Just say no! It’s easy to lose track of how much food you are consuming when people offer you food left and right. Make it a goal to consume only the food you really want to eat to and avoid eating other foods that don’t appeal to you.

Eat Slow.
It is important to consume food slowly. Why not enjoy and savor every bite! Eating too fast can lead to over eating and before you know it you’ve shoveled in twice as much as your body needs. The excess is converted into layaway triglycerides and may be packed into fat cells around your thighs, tush, and belly. Therefore, eat to the point of satisfaction rather than the feeling of full. Your waistline and scale will thank you later.

Yanovski, J.A., Yanovski, S.Z., Sovik, K.N., Nguyen, T.T., O’Neil, P.M., & Sebring, N.G. (2000). A Prospective Study of Holiday Weight Gain. New England Journal of Medicine.
Druxman, Lisa. (2013). 5 Healthy Tips for the Holiday Season. featured article.
Sohn, Emily. (2010). Drinking Water Proven to Help Weight Loss. featured article.
Beil, Laura. (2011) Your Body On…Overeating at a Holiday Feast. featured article.

About the Author:
Raised in the South Bay, Raeciel DeCastro earned her B.S. in Kinesiology from San Jose State University. As a program manager she enjoys helping others achieve their health and wellness goals. She is an avid volleyball player and participates in local adult leagues and tournaments from Sacramento to Las Vegas. Outside of her hobbies she enjoys spending time with friends and furry friend Zara.

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