You just had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with the family and had noticed that your jeans are just a tad bit tighter, right? Well, you are not alone because holiday weight gain is something we all dread but have to deal with, even Santa. After all, how is he going to go down the chimney if his waist size gets any bigger?
Getting back on point, weight gain is something we all need to keep an eye out for, especially during the festive season. This is because it’s time to visit your loved ones and eat a proper home-cooked meal with plenty of cheese, fats, and meat, which, while tasty and delicious, are very fattening.
Fortunately, there are a few easy ways you can avoid weight gain this holiday season without having to compromise on your holiday cheer:
- 1 1. Eat Slowly
- 2 2. Give In To Your Cravings
- 3 3. Avoid Stress
- 4 4. Don’t Look At The Tempting Foods
- 5 5. Avoid Bingeing
- 6 6. Drink Plenty Of Water
- 7 7. Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol
- 8 8. Don’t Keep Food On The Dinner Table
- 9 9. Find Out If You Are Full Before Getting Seconds
- 10 10. Avoid Added Sugar
- 11 11. Don’t Eat While Watching TV
- 12 12. Freeze Leftovers
- 13 13. Don’t Fall For Peer Pressure
- 14 14. Set The Right New Year’s Resolutions
- 15 15. Stay Active
1. Eat Slowly
Holidays are filled with an endless list of foods to try and eat. But don’t rush through the meal eating everything in sight because eating is said to be a journey of enjoyment, not a race to the end. The reason we recommend that you pace yourself while eating is that it takes a little time for your body to realize that it’s full so eating too quickly may cause you to overeat.
2. Give In To Your Cravings
Controlling what you eat, especially during festive season can be tough, if not impossible. It’s been seen that if you resist eating a certain food, it feels more attractive to your hunger urges. So, to avoid weight gain, give in to some (not all) of your cravings.
3. Avoid Stress
We all know that stress can cause weight gain and the holidays are often one of the most stressful periods for Americans, especially during family get-togethers. So, it’s no surprise that many people end up stress-eating their way to an increased waistline. To avoid this, try to reduce your stress by concentrating on the good things instead of the stressful ones.
4. Don’t Look At The Tempting Foods
We are always tempted to eat what is in front of us. So, if you are sitting three feet from the dessert table, you are bound to have some cravings. To avoid this tasty temptation, face away from them and listen to your hunger to see if you are really hungry.
5. Avoid Bingeing
If you want to avoid bingeing on supper, be sure to not starve yourself throughout the day. It’s been found that not eating enough throughout the day can lead to overeating when given access to food. To avoid this weight gain problem, have a balanced breakfast and lunch full of protein which will keep you full for longer.
6. Drink Plenty Of Water
An all-time favorite and an easy way to avoid weight gain, regardless of the season outside, is drinking water. Water can help you feel full and reduce the amount of food your body desires until it’s full. You should also avoid sugar-rich drinks like juices and sodas which can cause weight gain.
7. Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol
Drinking a little bit of alcohol is a good way to relax and unwind but drinking too much can lead to relaxed inhibitions with food. Not only that, alcohol like a beer can also be very fattening. So, if you want to avoid weight gain, take it easy on the booze this holiday season.
8. Don’t Keep Food On The Dinner Table
A straightforward trick to eating less is not to make it easy to get a second and third serving. To do this, just leave the food in the kitchen instead of the table. So, if you need to get up to get a second serving, you will have time to ask yourself if you really need it.
9. Find Out If You Are Full Before Getting Seconds
It takes around 20 minutes for your brain to receive the message that your body is full. So you should wait for those 20 minutes after your first serving before deciding for seconds. You can spend the time chatting and catching up with everyone during dinner.
10. Avoid Added Sugar
Sugar is a big part of the holiday season with cakes, pies, cookies and more being filled with added sugar for that sweet goodness. However, if you want to avoid holiday weight gain, you are suggested to eat more natural sugars then the processed ones. Natural forms of sugar come from veggies, fruits, and other whole grains.
11. Don’t Eat While Watching TV
It’s been documented that eating while watching TV can lead to overeating and bad food choices. You are more likely to eat cookies and chocolate cake while watching a movie then you are at the dinner table. There is also the fact that there are too many advertisements for unhealthy foods on TV which can tempt even the best of us.
12. Freeze Leftovers
Leftovers don’t have to be eaten immediately. There have been studies which suggest that if the food is not in sight, we are less likely to crave for it. The best way to deal with leftovers is to freeze it for another day.
13. Don’t Fall For Peer Pressure
No one does peer-pressure better than Aunt Betty when she shoves seconds and thirds onto your cleared plate during supper. But if you want to avoid gaining weight this season, you will have to learn to say no and respectfully decline. It’s ok to stop eating when you are full, so don’t feel guilty of saying no.
14. Set The Right New Year’s Resolutions
It’s almost Christmas and then comes New Years where it’s time for goal setting. But did you know that most people fail to keep their new year’s resolutions because they set unrealistic goals? Instead, you should set goals that you know are challenging but not impossible. This includes weight loss goals that you want to set this new year.
15. Stay Active
If you want to avoid weight gain this Christmas, you need to make the active decision of moving about, even if you don’t go to the gym. What this means is that you don’t have to visit your gym to get a workout, simply climbing up the stairs to your apartment can be a good workout without spending any additional time. You can also turn this into a group activity with the whole family by doing more outdoor activities like snowshoeing or snowball fights.
These were 14 easy ways you can follow to avoid weight gain this season while enjoying your Christmas holiday with family and friends.
I am health and nutrition expert and have over 10 years of experience in the health & beauty industry. I am the co-founder of this website & currently studying medicine. Apart from my love for health, nutrition & beauty, I love researching on various topics. I Love swimming & take a dip in the pool whenever I can. Follow me on Google+ & Pinterest.