5 Tips To Prevent Holiday Weight Gain
Studies have proven time and time again that gaining weight during the holiday season is very much a thing and it starts in October for most people. To make matters even worse, science also reveals that it takes an individual roughly six months to lose the holiday pounds. So is that extra drink and cookie really worth it? Probably not. While we don’t want to take the fun out of the holidays for you entirely by giving you strict rules to follow, there are ways to curb hunger and avoid overindulging. So all you need to do to come out of this holiday season at the same weight that you started is to keep a balanced and mindful approach. Follow these five tips to prevent holiday weight gain this season.
Load up on protein
Whether you are attending a holiday party or want to have a snack to curb hunger before a party, it is vital to load up on protein. Protein speeds up your metabolism and increases your levels of the hormones Leptin and GHP-1, which reduce an individual’s appetite. Protein also helps you to stay fuller for longer. If you are at a party, try and balance your plate with a serving or two of protein. Fish and poultry are good lean sources to go-to, or if you prefer to stick to the veggie options, fill your plate with beans and quinoa. If you want to have a protein filled snack before the party as you may not know what they are serving ahead of time, then snack on some nuts.
Substitute ingredients with low-cal options
If you are in control of making a dish or two for a holiday party, then try and substitute common ingredients with lower calorie options. If you are baking, replace sugar with a substitute like Stevia or honey and replace butter with mashed banana or applesauce. If you are cooking, try to bake, steam or grill food instead of frying it and substitute heavy cream with low-fat or skim-milk options. You can also replace sour cream and mayonnaise with greek yogurt in salads. For added flavor, just use herbs and spices.
Just because it is the holiday season, does not mean that you should use it as an excuse to stop exercising. No matter how busy you are, you can still squeeze in at least thirty minutes of exercise a day. Whether it be doing a quick little routine in your living room, attending a Rev Box class at Big Hit (it’s only 30 minutes-no excuses!) or parking further away at work and skipping the elevator for the stairs, you need to make time for it. By staying active not only will you feel better but your metabolism will also be revved up. That way if you do sneak in some extra calories it won’t necessarily lead to dreaded holiday weight gain.
While it is best to steer clear of consuming too much alcohol altogether, we understand that it’s the holidays and so it can be difficult to avoid. To avoid overindulging, try and drink a glass of water or soda in between each alcoholic beverage. In addition to that, make smarter choices when it comes to the alcohol you are consuming. Champagne has the least amount of calories with 90 calories a flute. Vodka soda comes in second with 96 calories a drink, followed by gin, whiskey and tequila, which have about 100-calories in them respectively. The biggest offenders are cocktails mixed with sugar and pop, wine and beer. A 5-ounce glass of red wine has 125 calories, while a 5-ounce glass of white wine has 121 calories and a 12-ounce beer has 153 calories.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is not only crucial for feeling better while dealing with the stress that can be associated with the holidays but it can also keep your weight in check. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases a hunger hormone that leads to you craving snacks and being hungry more frequently. Not getting enough sleep has also been linked to a slower metabolism so not only will you want to eat more but you will also have a harder time burning off the calories.