Why You Gain Weight Dur­ing the Hol­i­days

How to avoid the ex­tra win­ter weight

Raise Vegan - - Contents - By Aoife Sheri­dan

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.

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