WINTER IS COMING
So it’s that time of year again. Sweater weather, attending gatherings and parties with family and friends, stressful shopping… Pumpkin everything. Extra food everywhere. Holiday parties, family meals, and office sweets are all contributors to the almost unavoidable side effect: holiday weight gain.
Some state that during the holiday season people gain between 7-10 pounds. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. It’s more like half a pound to two pounds for most people and varies person to person. But since that weight is maintained through spring and summer it can account to most of the weight gain that occurs during adulthood. A decade later, and what happened? It’s more difficult to shed weight as we get older so circumvent the problem by taking PROACTIVE steps!
HOW TO AVOID HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN
- DRINK LOTS OF WATER – With cooler weather we forget to hydrate. Warm water with lemon and herbal tea will fill your belly and help you know when to stop eating and your stomach is full.
- FIND TIME FOR MOVEMENT – Move, dance, workout, do anything that keeps your body out of its sedentary habits
- MONITOR STRESS – rising cortisol levels can make our appetites increase. And to store the extra calories as fat. It worked for our ancestors, but not when we go to the grocery store instead of good ol’ hunting and gathering.
- EAT HEALTHY STUFF FIRST – So eat the protein first before all the carby, fatty stuff so that you don’t over indulge on the sugary temptations. Make sure to eat a clean snack before heading to holiday parties. Chicken breast dipped in hummus, apple/celery and peanut butter. Yum, filled with fiber to keep you satiated, and goodbye binging.
- (But do not forget to) TREAT YO’ SELF – You will be tempted with rich, sweet, and salty foods. If you want a cookie, eat a cookie. Just don’t eat ALL the cookies.
- GET ENOUGH SLEEP – A lack of sleep can affect cortisol levels. You sleep lighter and have less slow-wave, body rebuilding slumber potentially fueling weight gain based upon low blood sugar, carb cravings, and hormonal imbalances.
- SOCIALLY SHAKE THINGS UP – Social gatherings are usually centered around food. How about a picnic at a park? A bike ride (for those of us in the south) or ice skating for you northern folk? Bowling? Putt putt or even roller skating to bring it back old school (that means parents too). Bond over shared experiences rather than gifts that don’t last forever.
- DRINKING YOUR CALORIES? – Eggnog, pumpkin lattes, all the wine, and the “adult” punch at parties all add up. Again, drink water after every beverage and it should help keep you full, hydrated, and lower the empty calories that wreak havoc on our blood sugar levels and help prevent that dreaded wine hangover. (So I’ve heard…of course…)
- BE THAT PERSON – who brings a veggie dish to the party. Throw some asparagus in the guac. No one will know. Bring carrots and celery instead of chips and crackers. Their waistlines will thank you later.
- STAY ACCOUNTABLE – Download My Fitness Pal or another app to track meals, weight, and exercise. Sometimes knowing that I have to log that second slice of pumpkin cheesecake or third glass of wine is a deterrent in and of itself.
Live in the moment.
Love your neighbor.
Treat your body like a temple.
Happy holidays ya’ll!