Why You Gain Weight During the Holidays
How to avoid the extra winter weight
The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year but, like most people, I always find I’ve gained a couple extra pounds by the time January rolls around. So why do some people gain weight over the holidays? And what can we do
to help prevent it?
# 1 Skipping Breakfast
Most holiday get- togethers are centered around a big meal later in the day. Oftentimes, people will skip breakfast, thinking they will be eating a large amount later on and they don’t want to spoil their appetite. Although this tactic may seem like a logical plan, it is actually counterproductive and it wreaks havoc on your metabolism. When you wake up in the morning, your metabolism is working in overdrive because you’ve been fasting while you were asleep. It tends to slow down in the afternoon and if you eat a large amount as your first meal after 2 p. m., your body will end up storing those extra calories as fat.
So, instead of skipping it, have a nutritious breakfast that will keep you full until it’s time for the holiday feast later on in the day. This will keep your metabolism running at an optimal speed.
# 2 Waiting to Eat Until You’re Starving
One thing I’m guilty of every holiday season is stalking the kitchen and wondering when food will be served. When you’re starving and everything smells so good, it’s hard to control yourself ! Waiting until you’re super hungry to eat a meal actually makes it more likely that you’ll overeat, which is a surefire way to gain an extra pound or two over the holiday season.
Instead, try to have a snack before you arrive. If you have a quick bite before you show up and the meal isn’t served straight away, you will have time to socialize and have fun. This also means that when the meal is served, your eyes won’t be bigger than your stomach and you will be less likely to overeat.
# 3 Eating Even After You’re Full
This one is a no- brainer. If you’re eating past the point of being full, you are going to gain weight. If you consume more calories than your body actually needs, it will store the excess as fat. Do this a few times over the holiday season - something I’m guilty of at every party - and your clothes may start feeling a little more snug than before.
Instead, try to think of your hunger on a scale of 1- 10, with 1 being starving and 10 being overfull and feeling nauseous. You should aim to stop eating at around a 7 or an 8, where you feel full and satisfied, but not bursting at the seams or in a food coma.
Soaking up the holiday cheer doesn’t have to mean soaking up all the extra calories too. It’s important to remember that alcoholic or other sugary drinks contain more calories than you’d think, so keep an eye on that as well. Don’t be too hard on yourself, though, have a cup of cheer and relax, it’s supposed to be a happy time, and everyone deserves to treat themselves.