Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

By Dr. Joanna Rosenfeld ND, RHN

The holidays are a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and friends, and indulge in some holiday cheer, but it can also be the time we put on a few extra pounds.

The New England Journal of Medicine reported that the average holiday weight gain is 1 pound, and 5 pounds for people that are already overweight. This doesn’t seem like much but unfortunately, we don’t end up losing that weight later in the year, so the pounds can start to stack up.

Follow these 5 realistic tips to help avoid weight gain without depriving yourself of the holiday spirit!

1. Eat your breakfast
Have a high protein breakfast to start off your day. During the holidays many people skip breakfast as a way to “save” calories for Christmas dinner or other holiday parties. This practice makes you more likely to overindulge at dinner time, and it also wreaks havoc on your blood sugar levels, sending signals to the body to store as much fat as possible. Examples of healthy breakfasts include a homemade omelettes with vegetables or oatmeal with nuts, chia seeds, hemp hearts, ground flax seed and berries.

2. Exercise!
Take time to enjoy the outdoors over the holidays. Bundle up and suggest a family walk, or snowshoe, as a way to connect, expend some energy, and get some much needed stress relief! Lifting weights an hour before your big meal will set you up for muscle building, instead of fat storage.

3. Three Bite Rule
There are so many sweets and deserts circulating at this time of year. Choose a desert that you really love (not one that you are eating just because it is there), and have 3 bites of it. This will satisfy your tastebuds, and you won’t feel like you are missing out on anything.

4. Water Breaks
Alcohol consumption tends to increase around this time of year, which can pack on a lot of sneaky calories, and lead to dehydration. Alternate every alcoholic beverage with a glass of still or sparkling water. This will keep you hydrated and it’s an excellent way to avoid holiday hangovers.

5. Get your Zzz’s
Remember that this is your vacation time. After the winter holidays many people return to work feeling more exhausted and burnt out than when they left. Take this opportunity to recharge and re-set for the New Year ahead! Sleeping 7-8 hours a night will help you manage your weight, boost your immune system and regulate your hormones, among many other things!

Have a Happy, Healthy Holiday!