The holiday season involves meeting loved ones, partying and eating to our hearts’ content. All is hunky-dory, except that we end up gaining a few kilos after the festivities are over. A little holiday weight gain is not uncommon at all.
Similar to gaining weight, losing it also depends on your body type. However, making simple changes to your routine, like consuming fewer calories by choosing healthy meals and exercising daily, can help you regain fitness. But this requires patience, perseverance, discipline and a lot of hard work.
Listed below are a few easy tips to help you lose that holiday weight. However, you must remember some dos and don’ts before starting your weight loss journey, and it is always advisable to consult a physician or nutritionist.
After a scrumptious feast at family gatherings or parties, it is time to prepare yourself to lose that extra holiday weight.
Firstly, avoid skipping one of the most important meals of the day — breakfast. Skipping your breakfast makes you snack often throughout the day. In fact, remember to not skip meals at all — whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner.
It is also equally important that you try having your meals at the same time every day, as it helps burn calories faster and reduces the urge to snack.
Before we understand simple ways to help us go light on the weighing scale, let us first know what holiday weight exactly is.
What is holiday weight?
On a global level, holiday weight is characterised by extra kilos that people put on, especially during the fall/winter months of the year. This is mainly because of numerous festivals and end-of-the-year celebrations that are celebrated across all cultures around the world. In the US, it is observed that individuals gain over 0.37 to 2.3 kilograms of weight during this time. This is observed in Asian countries too, and is mainly because of the expansion of calorie intake in terms of festive food and drinks during the festivals. A study conducted by BMJ in 2018 confirms this.
This is a temporary change that occurs in our body and nothing to be alarmed about usually. Some fluctuation in weight is normal and once a person gets back to routine, they can automatically shed those unwanted kilograms.
How to manage holiday weight gain?
Include fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains in your diet. Choose high-fibre foods and avoid processed foods, white bread, fatty red or processed meats, baked goods, fried foods and sweets.
Plan your meals
Holiday weight gain is inevitable, but you can control it if you plan wisely.
Plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week. You can include delicious food (including fruit salads, egg sandwiches and smoothies) too — that is, if it fits your daily calorie intake.
Try not to stock on alcoholic beverages, junk food and other items to help you prevent weight gain.
Drink plenty of liquids
One way to avoid holiday weight gain is by following one simple tip — drinking the required amount of water.
How does this help, you ask? Sometimes people confuse dehydration for hunger, which can lead to over-snacking. So, quench your thirst, or hunger, by drinking sufficient water between meals.
Also, avoid drinking fizzy drinks, beverages with sugar and alcohol, as they add calories providing no nutrition.
It’s time for some exercise
Post-holiday weight loss can be managed by exercising regularly.
Choose a physical activity that you enjoy — from jogging or gyming to dancing or yoga — there are many options you can go for. If you have never worked out before, try something as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or lift, or walking your dog.
What’s even better is that if you choose a workout partner, you can keep each other motivated through your fitness journey. So, take a few deep breaths and get to work.
Be mindful about what you eat
While on your post-festive weight loss journey, be careful about what you eat. The easiest way to do this is by reading food labels so that you consume fewer calories.
This not only helps you skip unhealthy foods but also makes you aware of the number of calories you are consuming. Ensure that you do not exceed your daily calorie intake limit and try to get fresh produce to make healthy meals.
Chew slowly, be fully aware of what you eat, and eat in control for better digestion and weight maintenance. The aim here is to feel satiated with your meal and not full.
Switch to smaller plates
If you are someone who finds it difficult to get accustomed to smaller portions, then start using smaller plates.
Smaller plates and bowls will help you control your food intake and avoid weight gain. Eat your food slowly, so that your stomach gets enough time to signal your brain that it is feeling full. Stop eating once you realise that your hunger is satiated.
Be patient with the holiday weight gain
Getting fit might take time and some hard work. While it might be quicker to lose the extra holiday weight for some than others, the key is to stick to your meal and exercise plan.
Have a positive approach towards your fitness journey, and it won’t be long before you have regained your fitness.
(Main and Featured Image: Courtesy Towfiqu barbhuiya/Unsplash)