How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Christmas is one of the most popular holidays worldwide. The moment the decorations are up, and the shops get filled with all kinds of Christmas products, people start preparing for events and gatherings. Of course, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are the most important, but even before that, you might find yourself having a full schedule of get-togethers.

During this period, it is incredibly easy to overeat and skip working out. As a consequence, you might wake up with undesired mood swings and some extra weight. In the next pages, you will find tips that will help you control holiday weight gain and mood.



Avoid Inactivity

During the holidays, the only thing you might feel like doing is sitting on the couch and watching TV or browsing social media. Not moving for long periods can lead to weight gain. If you don’t manage to get rid of it after the holidays, it may contribute to obesity. [1]

Sitting for hours in a row can affect your mood. The side effects will not be depression or other severe mental disorders; however, your well-being will be affected even without you noticing. Physical activity helps your brain function properly. It makes the blood flow and helps metabolize carbohydrates. Both are essential for mental and metabolic health. [2][3]

Try to avoid sitting or lying down for more than one hour in a row. If you get up for a while, move, stretch, walk a bit, your body will be grateful. You could also go for a walk after a big meal, walk home instead of taking the car, or anything else that suits you, as long as you are active.



Sleep and Relax

Stress and sleepless nights can easily affect your body and lead to weight gain. During this period, you may stay past your bedtime, and you might have to deal with extra stress because of the pre-Christmas rush. 

Sleep deprivation causes increased hunger. It will make you eat more calories than you need (the Holiday goodies don’t help). Your circadian rhythm will be affected, which means your metabolism will slow down. Not getting enough rest will also affect your energy levels, therefore less physical activity [3][4][5].

Being in a stressful environment leads to an increase in cortisol levels, which means that you will directly jump to comfort food, resulting in extra calories. [6]

The solution is to take it easy and relax. You could start by creating a schedule for the holidays, not paying attention to people with negative vibes, and being aware of your surroundings. However, if you cannot avoid stressful situations or white nights, you can practice relaxing techniques and mindful eating. 



Other Tips

✅ Drink water before a meal. It will help you become full faster, thus prevent overeating.

✅ Limit your alcohol intake. Especially before a meal, alcohol can increase your appetite. It also contains a lot of empty calories. [7

✅ Try to avoid high-calorie drinks. These have plenty of sugar, which is the main culprit for weight gain and other diseases. Try to reduce as much as possible drinking soda and juice. 

✅ Choose a healthier option. Go for food that has few calories or plenty of nutrients. Dishes that are both low or medium cal and nutritious are the best (salads, fruits, healthy appetizers, meals rich in protein, etc.). 

✅ Stay away from processed foods. These unhealthy foods are everywhere! The problem is that most have plenty of sugar and unhealthy fats, which cause weight gain.