Maintaining a Healthy Weight During the Holidays

The holiday season has always been a time of merriment and indulgence. Families from far and near come together to celebrate, eat, drink and dine to the fullest. However, the abundance of delicious food and tempting treats can make maintaining a healthy weight during holidays challenging. You have your cake and eat it too. We have all been guilty one way or the other. However, this has come at a cost, particularly within the Black community in the United States. It’s widely believed that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the “average Black person” puts on at least five pounds (2.27 kg). In addition, according to a study carried out by the New England Journal of Medicine, it was discovered that selected participants, comprising of men and women, gained an average of 0.78 kg during the holiday.

This shows that our lifestyle choices and what we eat during the holiday season contribute significantly to our weight gain. Most of what we eat are high-calorie foods, starchy foods, sweets, and dinner rolls, with more salt and sugar than usual, leading to water retention and, eventually, bloat.

But how do we maintain a healthy weight during the holidays? Here are a few ways you can control your weight gain while enjoying your holidays.

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating doesn’t mean you should skip meals during holidays; you should pay close attention to your food choices, both in quantity and quality. Take smaller portions, chew slowly, and savor every bite. By doing this, you can protect yourself from overeating but, at the same time, enjoy the holiday treats without overindulging.

Stay Active

Keeping your body in shape is always a good thing, especially during the holidays when you are more relaxed and less disciplined in your lifestyle and food intake. This doesn’t have to be a structured workout; it can be fun activities such as dancing at a party, or playing a physical game. Overall, staying active during holidays helps to burn out excess calories in your body and subsequently boost your mood and energy levels. You will be surprised at the impact this little activity will have on your general body.

Hydrate and Limit Alcohol

As simple as it sounds, you will be surprised at how much regular drinking of water can help to maintain your weight during holidays. Drinking plenty of water daily will fill your stomach, which is enough for your brain to register fullness. This stimulates your body metabolism and, obviously, your energy consumption, which will ultimately help with your weight management.

Do not skip breakfast

Several studies have shown that people who eat healthy breakfasts end up eating fewer calories throughout the day because eating breakfast powers up the brain and gets the metabolism going, which in turn helps you perform any given task better.

You might be wondering how eating breakfast could help in weight management, and you are right to think so. It is more of psychology. Eating breakfast will.

Try the Mediterranean-style diet

During holidays, we are all tempted to eat spicy food with very high calories. One way to minimize the impact of the food intake is to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. This is because, fruits and vegetables add volume to your dish. In their natural state, they have high water and fiber content, which are low in calories and energy. Moreover, it quickens the food digestion process. This allows for the consumption of the same amount of food but with fewer calories.

Have enough sleep

Having enough night’s sleep is important. In fact, research has shown a link between not having enough sleep and weight gain. During holidays, we want to stay awake and enjoy the night sky with friends and family. But in doing that, we tend to reduce our sleeping hours, which doesn’t go well with our bodies. People who stay late at night tend to eat late, and eating late will lead to low digestion, which will accumulate and lead to weight gain. In addition to this, seasonal depression is very common during holiday season which has a direct impact on sleep time. This could be as a result of several factors such as loneliness, heartbreak, or even poor work-life balance. All this can indirectly lead to weight gain during holidays.

Smart Snacking

Eating snacks that can help reduce your appetite for food can help a long way in managing your weight. High-fiber foods can keep a person feeling fuller for a longer period of time. Nuts are an ideal nutritious snack, providing the perfect balance of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. This kind of smart snacking can suppress your appetite and minimize cravings without any artificial supplements

Overall, maintaining a healthy weight during the holidays can be a challenging task but not totally impossible. By making conscious choices, and following the above tips, you can enjoy the festivities while still prioritizing your health.

Find a Buddy

Having someone to confide is important in maintaining a healthy weight on vacations.  As the saying goes ”A problem half shared is a problem half solved”. Being around people who care for you can be very helpful in checkmating your exuberances like social and eating lifestyle that ultimately contribute to an unhealthy weight gain during the holidays.

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About the author

Adeoluwa Agunlejika

Adeoluwa is an accomplished professional blog writer with a deep passion for health and wellness. His expertise spans a comprehensive range of well-being topics, including nutrition, fitness, and mental health strategies. Outside of his writing endeavors, Adeoluwa is an avid football fan, often found enjoying matches during his leisure time.

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