Guess how many pounds the average person gains over Christmas? If you said five pounds, give yourself a gold star (and probably another notch in your belt). Of course, that doesn’t even include the weight gain that occurs leading up to Christmas.
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
While you don’t want to make Christmas a time of calorie restriction and dieting (that’s no fun after all), you don’t want to undo all your hard work throughout the rest of the year either. Fortunately, we offer three ways to avoid holiday weight gain.
A lot of people hate counting calories. However, losing weight is still a math game. You burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight. You do the opposite, you gain. All things kept equal, your weight stays the same. If you want this holiday season to go by without gaining weight, then you may need to actually count your calories.
It’s especially important around Christmas. We’re likely grabbing cookies, mints, candies, the stray piece of turkey, etc. Even in small amounts, all of that can add up. It’s amazing the “hidden” calories that we consume around Christmas.
While starving yourself for lunch and breakfast then eating later in the day is never ideal from a metabolic standpoint, if you know you’re going to pig out at a particular meal, then go light on the others. “Save room” for the big holiday party or Christmas dinner by going light earlier in the day.
For example, if you know you’re going to pig out at an office party on a Thursday evening, then just have a boiled egg for breakfast and a bowl of light soup for lunch. Those would only be about three hundred calories. That frees up a lot to gorge in the evening. It’s not ideal by any means, but it’s better than eating normally for breakfast and lunch and then still gorging.
Whenever I’m tempted to overeat for long periods of time (one or two days off an eating plan aren’t a problem), I remind myself that I value being fit, healthy, and popular far more than I value a meal. The same is true of the holiday dinners. I would rather be the happy, handsome life of a party then the fat guy no one likes stuffing his face with fifty sugar cookies. It helps to remind myself of that when I’m in the situation faced with temptation.
If you find yourself overeating at holiday functions, remind yourself of your fitness and social goals. Most of us would rather be enjoying the party socially then stuffing ourselves and gaining weight. Keep the right perspective when eating and you should have no trouble.
Have a great Christmas and holiday season! But, keep your eating in check. Once summer rolls around, you’ll be happy you made the choices to be (or become) fit.