Avoiding Winter Weight Gain

There are many reasons why people give up on their weight loss goals around October through December, including stress, seasonal depression and temptations at holiday gatherings and get-togethers. It's important to stay mindful of your goals and find healthy ways to cope with holiday stress in order to prevent unhealthy eating habits and a decrease in physical activity.

As you progress through these next few months, we will be here to encourage and provide resources. If you implement a routine, you will be more likely to maintain your weight than reverting to old habits and gaining weight. It is possible to avoid the negative effects of yo-yo dieting if you begin implementing daily habits to establish this routine.

The following are some tips to help you avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain.

Avoid skipping meals or attending parties on an empty stomach.

Many individuals attempt to conserve their calories earlier in the day so they can indulge later. However, this strategy is ineffective and can lead to consuming more calories in a short period of time, as well as making poorer choices due to extreme hunger. It is advisable to still have small meals and snacks throughout the day, ensuring that they include some filling protein.

Be selective about the foods and desserts you choose.

If you eagerly await your aunt's casserole all year, go ahead and have some. However, if you are not particularly fond of mashed potatoes and gravy, it would be wise to skip those calories. The same principle applies to desserts. If you have a preferred dessert, opt for that one. If you are unable to decide and wish to "sample" them all, place them on a small plate to ensure you only have a taste.

Stay adequately hydrated.

It is often easy to forget to drink enough water during the winter, especially with the busyness of the holidays. Dehydration can sometimes be mistaken for hunger, so keeping water within reach can help prevent overeating.

Limit your alcohol intake.

Not only does alcohol contribute to calorie consumption, but it can also lead to increased appetite and dehydration. Choose lower-calorie drink options and restrict yourself to 1-2 drinks.

Avoid making food the main focus.

Remember that the holidays are a time to gather with loved ones, catch up, and have fun, not just to eat. Engage in conversations with family or friends in an area without food to avoid mindlessly grazing while talking.

Incorporate physical activity.

Encourage your family to take a walk before and/or after a meal. This will help burn some calories and put you in a better mindset to make healthier food choices.

Maintain a regular exercise routine throughout the season.

As the weather gets colder, it is common to become less active, which contributes to weight gain during the winter. Even if you only have 10-15 minutes, try to find time most days to engage in some form of exercise. It will help burn calories and alleviate holiday stress.

Monitor your weight regularly.

This will prevent weight gain from catching you off guard and help you stay on track.

Exercise control over celebratory foods.

Not only are people bringing holiday treats to work on a daily basis, but there are also leftovers from the celebrations to consume. If not careful, this can result in a high-calorie diet for weeks. Bring your own healthy snacks and avoid the break room with all the treats. Give leftovers to guests as they leave to minimize the amount of high-calorie food you have to eat.

Reestablish healthy eating habits after the holidays.

Whether you indulged a little or a lot during the holiday season, make it a priority to return to healthier eating habits promptly.

Implementing a few small changes in how you celebrate can have a significant impact on how you feel once the holidays are over!

healthy holiday meal

Categories: Weight loss Pitfalls

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