Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

By on November 12, 2019
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by Tami Raco-Mungenast CPT CNWC

Studies indicate that many Americans will gain weight through the six week holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Years. Some studies suggest that many can gain up to 6 lbs in these 6 weeks. According to a survey of 2000 adults commissioned by Herbalife Nutrition 45% of the respondents plan on holding off from plans to eat healthy or lose weight until after the holidays. Over 50% of those interviewed said they did not plan to follow an exercise program through the holiday season but would like to start one in the New Year. Subsequently, the study also found that only 12% were able to get through the holidays with out gaining weight, 88% did gain weight! 

Often we find in our rush to prepare and celebrate the holiday season we feel we cannot manage eating healthy or find time for regular exercise. The “all or nothing” mindset can really take our health goals into the ditch.  

Staying on track can be a challenge especially if you are tackling it on your own. Enlisting friends and family to join you with a plan to stay on track can help. Finding a weight management program or trainer to help you can also add an extra level of accountability to help you not lose ground during the holiday season. Here are some tips to help you stay away from unnecessary holiday weight gain.

Get moving: one of the most effective ways to maintain weight or to lose weight is to burn more calories in sustained movement. Engaging in regular cardio vascular activity for 30 minutes a day 3-5 times a week can really help! If you did indulge in some Christmas cookies or an unhealthy treat increase your time of cardio to 45 minutes or add an extra day of cardio that week. Burn the candle from both ends by engaging in circuit style training, lifting weights with cardio intervals to really get the most of your exercise. Exercise is a great way to burn those extra calories you may be taking in this time of year 

Never go to a party hungry or “hangry”: Keep the temptation spirit at bay by having a healthy snack with some protein and healthy fats prior to a holiday social engagement. This will allow you to feel full and keep your hunger hormones at bay when the decadent food items appear! By having a feel of satiety you will have more will power to pass or try a small portion of the food and feel content. Your emotional mindset coming into the party has a big impact on your success in managing your food and drink choices.  

Learn to say NO: Be aware of the pressure you might be feeling to eat food because someone prepared it. Rather than guilt eating say “No thank you I am full” or “Thank you I had enough and everything was delicious.” Practice this a few times and it will get easier and is freeing from the sabotage of your weight management.  

Focus on socializing over snacking: We are invited to attend holiday events because our presence is wanted there. We host holiday events because we are looking forward to the company of those who we invite. Therefore do not stand around the food table when you are at the party. Focus your energy on engaging with others not the food. Good conversation is calorie free and makes for better holiday cheer! 

Finish 2019 strong!