If you want to lose weight during the holiday season, this article will show you simple strategies you can start using right away.
You’re more likely to gain weight during the holiday season than any other time of year. According to this study, adults gain an average of half a kg (1 pound) between mid-November and mid-January.
Plus, it’s estimated that in the end year holiday season, you can consume more than 4500 calories at every gathering.
For these reasons, you need to keep a close eye on the number on the scale each holiday season.
Some may think losing weight during the holiday season will spoil all the fun but that’s not the case. You can have fun with your loved ones while shrinking your waistline.
Here are 15 tips to lose weight during the holiday season.
How to Lose Weight During The Holiday Season
1. Be more active than usual
Studies show that inactivity is one of the leading causes of weight gain and chronic illnesses such as heart disease.
Staying inactive during the holidays only makes things worse since you’re consuming lots of calories.
Luckily, there are lots of things you can do during this period to stay active like going for walks with family members, playing with the kids, or engaging in competitive activities.
If you don’t have a pedometer get one. It will help you know how active you’re. Alternatively, download a fitness tracking app.
I may also note that staying active with your loved ones will keep your mind off food and reduce the chances of overeating.
2. Have a definite plan
You need to know the foods you’ll eat in between meals. Just because a food is available, doesn’t mean you should eat it.
Generally, you want to avoid fried and sugary foods since they’re the biggest contributors to weight gain and obesity.
Make plans for highly nutritious snacks to enjoy in between meals. Eat berries, nuts, fruits whenever you feel hungry.
Avoid snacking if you want to eat for the sake of eating.
3. Control your portions by using smaller plates
Eating smaller portions can help regulate your appetite and allow you to get all the nutrients you need without overeating.
You don’t have to use your fist to measure your portions. Simply use smaller plates. Research shows that using large plates increases your calorie intake by 77%.
A study by the University of Chicago shows that using smaller plates makes you feel fuller while eating less because a full smaller plate gives the illusion that you’ve eaten a lot.
4. Practice mindful eating
Mindful eating is a technique you can use to gain control over your eating habits during the holiday season.
Mindful eating involves:
- Eat only when you’re hungry
- Stop eating when you’re full
- Eat slowly
- Avoid distractions: don’t eat while you’re preoccupied with other activities
- Avoid impulse purchases
- Enjoy all the parts of your meal: sight, smell, taste
- Chew 20-40 times with each bite
5. Get enough sleep
You probably know that lack of sleep has many side effects including weight gain. The fact that you may not get enough sleep during the holidays only worsens the situation.
It is easy to get carried away with all the fun and fail to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
If you don’t get enough sleep during the night, take naps during the day. Note that naps longer than 30 minutes can lead to low energy levels.
Also, stay away from caffeinated drinks 6 hours before bedtime.
6. Add vegetables
Instead of avoiding all high-calorie meals, add veggies to them. Adding at least one cup of veggies to every meal will help regulate your food intake since veggies are filling.
Eat the veggies first to ensure you don’t skimp on them when you’re full. If you’re among the many people who hate veggies, here’s how to lose weight when you don’t like vegetables.
7. Reduce your stress levels
Holidays can be very stressful. Dealing with the needs of a large group of people or handling the pressure of family obligations can lead to a lot of anxiety.
High levels of stress can lead to weight gain due to many factors like high cortisol levels and stress eating.
You can avoid stress during the holiday by avoiding confrontations, planning ahead, and sticking to the budget.
8. Weigh yourself every morning
Track your weight daily, especially during the holidays. When you wake up, as part of your morning routine, step on the weighing scales to see how much you weigh.
According to a study published in the Journal of Obesity, frequent self-weighing has a positive impact on weight loss.
Additionally, a review of studies showed that people who keep track of their weight kept off the pounds more successfully than people who didn’t.
9. Get support
Studies show that most people who lose weight end up gaining the weight they lost back.
However, a study published in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health showed that losing weight with support has a higher chance of success.
If you have people helping you watch your weight during the holidays, you’re less likely to pack on the pounds.
Get your loved ones in on your exercise. Redesign lower calorie recipes with them, do your exercises with them, keep a mutual food diary with them.
Not only will doing it with your family make it easier for you, but it could also be a great deal of fun.
10. Stay hydrated
Drink as much water as possible while you’re on holiday. Drinking water helps you burn more calories and manage your weight better.
A study of overweight dieting women observed the effect of drinking more than one liter of water each day. Over a year, the women reported a loss of an extra 2kgs.
Drinking water before meals also reduces appetite. And replacing other drinks, especially sugar-added drinks with water helps reduce the chances of weight gain by 0.5kgs.
Furthermore, research shows that drinking water reduces the risk of obesity by 31%.
11. Have a cup of coffee
Start your day with a cup of coffee to get a good dose of caffeine. Studies show that having a cup of coffee before a workout increases the number of calories you burn.
Other sources of caffeine are green tea and kombucha. They are great energy boosters, antioxidants and boost your metabolic rate.
Further research adds that people who consume caffeine have more successful weight loss maintenance than people who don’t.
12. Do not skimp on protein
Holiday meals can be rich in carbs and packed with empty calories. Pies and cakes and other desserts are big sources of carbs and the biggest contributors to weight gain.
Ensure that you include proteins in your meals. Foods rich in protein like beans, white meat, legumes etc. should be added to each meal.
Protein increases fullness which helps maintain weight.
13. Exercise your willpower
Fortify yourself against getting extra food that you don’t need. Avoid eating second helpings since it usually increases the risk of weight gain.
To avoid seconds, try to make your first helping satisfactory, make sure it is as diverse as possible (with veggies, of course).
Save the extras for later meals and don’t spend too much time around food.
14. Avoid alcohol
It would be difficult to completely avoid alcohol during the holidays.
If you don’t want to go fully teetotal, you can opt for some low-calorie options.
Here is our list of low-carb drinks you can enjoy during the holidays to reduce your calorie intake and successfully lose weight.
15. Avoid processed foods
Try to stick to unprocessed foods since they are low in calories and very filling. Studies show that consumption of ultra-processed foods can lead to obesity, high cholesterol.
To reduce the risk of weight gain, a report by the Harvard School of Public Health shows that you need to eat better quality foods.
If you combine the strategies above with short home workouts, you can even lose weight during the holiday season. In fact, the short workouts in my program can help you build muscle and melt off excess fat in just 4 weeks.
Which strategies have you used to lose weight during the holiday season?[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]