The holiday season is just around the corner. It’s the period where we all celebrate Christmas Day and New Year by serving luscious meals to share with the friends and family. There are also of course parties left and right that you required to attend, and in these events, you are served with more food. The holiday season is also perceived as a few days in a year when people just let go of their diet restrictions and eat whatever they fancy. Sadly, after all the celebration and never-ending parties, you end up gaining so much in just a span of a few days. With all the consumption of sweets, carbs, comfort foods, and cocktails, it’s seriously impossible not to forget about your body as well as your wellness goals.
According to a survey, the average American gains at least one pound starting Thanksgiving Day until New Year’s Day. This may actually sound not-so-substantial for majority of us, but just imagine, you are to gain up to 10lbs of weight in a decade if you neglect your eating habits during that six-week Holiday period. For those who are suffering from obesity and are overweight, the weight gain is more substantial in that these individuals can gain up to five pounds each year just by feasting on just about anything during the holiday season.
The weight that is gained during the holiday season accounts to 50% of the annual weight gain per individual. Some individual gain a pound of weight almost overnight, whilst some experience small but continuous gain in weight for many weeks. With all these facts, you are surely to gain a pound or two during the holiday season whether you like it or not.
If you want to be 100% guaranteed not gain any weight, there are some tried and tested tips on how you can maintain your weight. There are even actions or interventions that can actually help you lose more weight amidst all the festivities and celebrations that happen during the holiday season.
How to Prevent Weight Gain- Here are 6 Tips that you MUST remember:
1. Plan meals by using a food diary
Keep a proactive food diary. Traditionally food diaries contain the food items you already have eaten, and by this time all you have left is deep regret that you did not plan your meals wisely. Before starting your day, write down the meals or dishes that you are planning to eat and stick with it. It’s totally fine to indulge on your guilty pleasures from time to time, but it’s important that you adhere to your own diet plan so you can surely keep the weight off during the holidays.
Apart from jotting down the food items you wish to consume on a daily basis, it is also recommended that you take down notes of positive feelings that you have with these food items such as enumerating their benefits and how all these planning can help you achieve your health and fitness goals.
2. Only eat when you’re hungry
Never starve yourself before you attend a huge festivity or party. Some people make the mistake of not eating before a grand buffet party with the excuse that they are only making up for what they have not consumed earlier that day. When you are hungry, you will most assuredly consume more than what your body needs. This can be a very unhealthy practice if you extend this habit for the rest of the year.
A far more sensible habit that you need to develop is to eat before you attend parties and banquets. In this way, you already feel satiated and will be less likely to overeat.
3.Eat fats first
Food items that contain high levels of fat will make you feel full and well stimulate your metabolism. Snacking on small portions of fatty foods will help you in avoiding the overconsumption of starchy foods and sweets. Fats also alleviate or curb your overall craving. Excellent sources of good fats are olives, olive oil, butter, nuts, and coconut oil to name a few.
4. Walk it out
A short, brisk walk after eating a large meal offers a host of benefits. For one, this activity will get you away from all the tempting food at parties. Apart from the fact that walking helps in digestion and metabolism, this activity also assists in lowering blood sugar levels and insulin levels to normal range.
5. Condition your brain
Highly-processed foods are in abundance during the holidays. Food items such as cookies, cinnamon rolls, stuffed pastries, and crackers all appeal to our primal craving for calories such as fats, sugar, and salt.
The junk food system was devised to condition us to buy more junk food when supplies dwindle. As we get addicted to highly-processed and junk foods, we simply lose touch with the healthy eating foundations that we have altogether. Once the body is used to consuming unhealthy food items, the brain will then become conditioned to crave junk foods, thus making it next to impossible to avoid or resist them.
One good example is that of sugar consumption. When we eat sugar, our brain produces natural opioids- a crucial ingredient in the addition process. The brain then becomes hooked on releasing its own natural opioids in the same way that an addict would crave for heroine.
One easy way of reconditioning the brain is by Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT. If you don’t want to feel powerless over junk foods, practice and master EFT so you don’t have to suffer from emotional overeating again.
6. Intermittent Fasting
Our great ancestors did not have access to food round the clock. It is due to this fact that our genes are well optimized for intermittent fasting. It takes about eight hours for the human body to use up all glycogen stores. After this time frame, the body then starts to burn stored fat. People who are eating small, frequent meals throughout the day may actually be hurting their chances of losing weight, as this practice makes it all the more difficult for the body to utilize the fat stores as main source of fuel. Numerous research studies support the fact that fasting can actually have a positive glycemic effect, thus leading to efficient energy use and weight loss.
Other research findings reveal that fasting triggers a wide array of benefits including positive hormonal and metabolic changes- all of which are similar to working out. Historically, fasting is commonplace and was an integral part of spiritual practice for thousands of years. Modern research findings verify that there are many good reasons why intermittent fasting is ideal if you want to keep a healthy weight:
– Fasting normalizes insulin sensitivity
– that which is crucial for optimal health since insulin resistance is one of the leading triggers in the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases.
– Keeping the ghrelin levels within normal range is one positive benefit of intermittent fasting.
– Intermittent fasting promotes human growth hormone production. HGH plays a crucial role in health and fitness as well as in the aging process.
– Intermittent fasting also lowers triglyceride levels.
– Fasting is a way to reduce inflammatory processes as well as reduce free radical damage.
Before you give intermittent fasting a try, make sure to enforce it in a gradual manner. Opt to start with a 12-hour fast initially and then move on to fasting for 16 hours. You may also consider fasting every other day, or simply delaying meals such as breakfast to make way for exercise.