Holiday Weight Gain

5 Ways to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

In All Health Watch, Diet and Nutrition, Featured Article, Weight Loss

Many of us repeat the same cycle every year…

During the holidays we eat, drink, and be merry.

Then we step on the scale in January to discover how much weight we’ve packed on. Much of the rest of the year is spent trying to lose it.

Of course, it would be easier and healthier if we could enjoy the holidays without ending up the size of Santa. A recent study found a way to do just that.

The research was published in the The British Medical Journal. Scientists gave 272 participants simple, common-sense advice for not overeating.1

The participants were divided at random into two groups. One was called the intervention group. They were told to weigh themselves twice a week or more during the holiday season. They were instructed to write down their weight and to think about it. Additionally, the group was given weight-watching tips. These included doing regular exercise and avoiding sugary drinks.

The second group was the control group. They were given pamphlets with advice for leading a healthy lifestyle. But they received no information about diet.

The control group gained an average of about a pound over the holidays. The intervention group, however, lost weight. About a pound on average.

The study authors say their results “should be considered by health policymakers” to help prevent weight gain during “high-risk periods” such as the holidays.2

5 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

You can take matters into your own hands with these research-backed tips…

  1. Use a smaller plate. A study published in the journal Obesity found that people who use larger plates tend to weigh more than others.3
  2. Exercise. It’s obvious, but it’s true… If you stay active you’ll be thinner. Go for regular walks. Do push-ups. Swim. Play golf or tennis. Don’t sit for longer than an hour.
  3. Eat mindfully. This means not just robotically scarfing down your food. When you sit down to a meal, take your time. Appreciate all aspects of your food. Look at it for a few moments. Observe the colors, textures, and aroma. Eat slowly and take small bites. Chew thoroughly and appreciate the taste. Studies show this approach helps you lose weight over time.4
  4. Weigh yourself regularly. Be conscious of your weight on a day-to-day basis. Research shows that people who do this are more likely to avoid gaining weight.5
  5. Get adequate sleep every night. Lack of sleep has been linked with overeating. The hormones that regulate hunger are affected when you don’t get enough shut-eye. Seven to nine hours a night is optimal for most people.6

Editor’s Note: There is a little-known chemical in our bodies that tells our brain we are full. If this chemical is off-balance, it doesn’t matter how much you eat…you’ll soon be hungry again. This chemical also tells your body to burn fat. Luckily, keeping this chemical in check is simple as adding one activity to your daily routine. Discover the secrets that are keeping you fat—and how to quickly turn them around—HERE.

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