The holidays are a a time when families come together to enjoy good home-cooked food. Whether it’s turkey, dressing, cranberries, ham, casserole, mashed potatoes or a combination of all the above, there’s nothing quite like holiday feasts. Unfortunately, however, it’s also a time when people tend to gain weight. The temptation of delicious home-cooked foods seems to overtake strict dieting plans. To help guide you through the holidays without packing on extra pounds, we’ve covered some essential weight loss and dieting tips.
Average Weight Gain During The Holidays
According to a study performed by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJW), the average person only gains a single pound during the holidays. This goes against the traditional belief that holiday feasts pack on anywhere between 5-10 pounds of additional weight. Researchers closely examined 195 participants during three stretches of holiday time: pre-fall, Thanksgiving to Christmas, and post winter. They discovered that people only gained an average of one pound during the holidays.
While the thought of only gaining one pound during the holidays might be music to your ears, there’s a catch: most people didn’t lose this additional pound. Having a holiday feast only once in your lifetime isn’t going to add much to your weight (just a single pound, according to this study), but feasting once per year for 20 years adds an additional 20 pounds to your weight. This is why it’s important to make smarter decisions regarding your diet, exercise and overall health during the holidays.
Start Your Day With a Light, Nutritious Breakfast
Some people skip breakfast during the holidays, assuming it will only add unnecessary calories to their daily diet. As the old adage goes — breakfast is the most important meal of the day — holds true, especially during the holidays. Skipping it will promote hunger cravings, which in turn increases your chance of over-eating come dinner time. Start your day off right with a light, nutritious breakfast. Something as simple as a cup of low-fat yogurt topped with some fresh strawberries, blueberries or blackberries is an excellent idea, or you could cook a poached egg and place it on top of a slice of whole grain bread.
Dieting Tips For The Holidays:
- Fight the temptation of eating cakes, pies and other desserts.
- Use a body wrap following a holiday feast to encourage faster weight loss.
- Drink lots of water throughout the day.
- Don’t skip meals.
- Stick with lean meats, such as turkey, and avoid BBQ, ham or beef.
- Go for a jog around the neighborhood to help burn of some of those excess calories.