The Skinny on Holiday Weight Gain
We all love Santa but we don’t want to end the year looking like him. Most studies show that people only gain about a pound and a half during the season, despite it feeling like we gain fifty. Happily, there are plenty of ways to prevent that jingle belly (aka holiday weight gain) before it starts.
Don’t Weight till the New Year
“New Year, New You” sounds great in theory, but don’t drop the ball until the ball drops. According to a study done by Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab, people seem to gain the most weight from October to the New Year with the peak happening during the 10 days after Christmas. Be conscious of what you are eating throughout “the most wonderful time of the year” and splurge on the holiDAY instead the whole holiday season.
Winter (Weight) is Coming
The holidays provide plenty of reasons to celebrate with lots of carbs and while a trip to the gym might keep you on Santa’s good list, it might not keep those extra calories off. A Texas Tech study found no difference in weight loss between a group that exercised and one who did not. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep hitting the gym. Health is way more than a number on the scale and exercise will help with lowering stress (families are stressful!) It can also lead to better sleep.
Water Water Everywhere
An easy way to prevent holiday weight gain is to drink more water, as the holidays often mean you are more likely to indulge in alcohol (not to mention your aunt’s decadent egg nog). Be sure you hydrate before you dehydrate! Studies show that adults who drink two cups of water before meals lose 40% more weight than those who don’t. So try drinking a glass of water between every glass of wine to keep things balanced.
And speaking of balance, maintaining a healthy weight through the holidays is all about balancing your meals. Enjoy those mashed potatoes but partner it with some colorful veggies or skip the wine if you plan to score a slice of cake after the meal. But most importantly, give yourself a break. The holidays are a time for family, friends and reflection and perhaps for the occasional sugar cookie or two.