It is common knowledge that many Americans overeat during the Holiday season and gain 10 pounds on average between Thanksgiving and Christmas. When the Holiday season comes, all resolutions to eat healthy go out the window. We do not care; we overeat and stuff ourselves because we have a good excuse: it is the Holidays! We almost take it for granted and accept it that we will gain weight over the Holidays. Yet, we promise ourselves that we will be good starting January 1st. The problem is that the majority of our good New Year’s resolutions of eating healthy or following a diet do not last more than a few weeks, barely enough time to perhaps lose a quarter of the weight gained over the Holidays. So, every year, unfortunately, the American population gets fatter and fatter.
Do you know what ten extra pounds of fat look like on your body? It is the rough equivalent of 10 one-pound jars of peanut butter covering your body in the most undesirable areas. 10 jars: that’s a lot! And, they may be difficult to lose later or may never be lost.
This year can be different though. You need to understand that you do not have to gain weight during the Holiday season. This year, you can make a different choice. You can decide not to fall in the Holiday trap and not gain any weight at all. Here are a few ideas about how to not gain weight over the Holidays.
If you go to a party and eat and drink a little too much, make sure you hit the gym first thing the next morning and be extra careful with what you eat that day. Drink a lot of water and avoid carbohydrates, especially in the evening if you can! For example, make sure you get a great workout on Christmas Day.
Work out often during the Holidays, every day if possible, or if you never work out, start working out in December instead of January 1st when it is too late! If your schedule gets so packed during the Holidays that you do not have much time to work out; then, do your best to take long walks in between meals with your family members and friends.
Schedule Holiday parties or dinners apart from each other if possible. At a minimum, take a day off of overeating every other day so that your body can recover and not gain weight.
Use the time during Holiday gatherings with family and friends to connect with the people you love instead of connecting with food. We often overeat at parties because we are bored or we don’t know what to do so we eat and drink to give ourselves something to do even if we are stuffed and already fully satisfied. Instead, make an effort to socialize and connect with the people around you.
During the Holidays, our hosts have spent so much time and energy preparing delicious food for us that they always want us to eat a lot and offer us a second helping. Of course, they do it out of kindness because they want everyone to enjoy the food they prepare and do not want any leftovers. However, do not feel obligated to accept their offer because you feel you would let your host down or make her unhappy if you refused the extra food. Think about yourself and about what this unnecessary food will do to your waist line or your thighs. And if you are the host, do not be pushy with second servings for your guests and yourself too!
Remember the Holiday is a time of joy, connection, and love and definitely not a time to be on a diet. So, appreciate the delicious food served over the Holidays! Take your time when you eat and enjoy each bite. But, be sure to only eat one serving; you can always save the leftovers and eat more of this delicious food later at another meal. Servings are so huge in the U.S. that a second helping is really not necessary. Not being able to resist and taking multiple servings can lead to significant overeating and weight gain during the Holiday season. Also, stay away from buffets if you can. Or if you can’t, again only have one plate for the main course and one for the dessert.
Think twice about what you eat during the Holidays. Each bite you take can end up as extra fat on your belly or thighs. Remember that not only you want to look your best on New Year’s Ev but also for starting the New Year. You definitely do not want 10 extra pounds to drag around!
During this Holiday season, do something different, give yourself the gift of self-love and health by not overeating so that when January 1st comes around, you do not have to eat healthy and run to the gym because you gained so much weight over the Holidays but only because you love yourself and it is your desire to be healthy and fit! You deserve to give yourself this gift! You are worth it. Happy Holidays!