It’s Christmas time, the time to sit back and relax with your family and friends! It’s easy to spend your evenings watching TV, drinking hot chocolate, eating delicious meals, and munching on those homemade cookies you can’t help but love.
But what happens when you step on the scale come New Year? Do you find yourself cringing at all of the weight you’ve gained?
Christmas weight gain is very common, but don’t let that be you! It’s time to prevent the holidays from setting back your weight loss efforts over the year, and you can do that by:
- Staying active — Yes, there is always the temptation to relax and stay indoors, as the weather is cold outside and the days are short. But don’t let your daily exercise program slip! Stay active as much as possible, which means spending more time doing exercise than you normally would. Spend the weekends doing active activities, even if they are indoors. Shovel snow, take your dog for a walk, or have a snowball fight with the kids. Whatever you do, make sure you move and burn calories all winter long.
- Watch the snacking –– If there is one thing that everyone loves at Christmas, it’s all the delicious holiday snacks. Those cookies, cakes, pies, and treats are so hard to resist, but they are one of the primary causes of Christmas weight gain. Just like you’ve been strict with your diet throughout the year, you need to keep yourself on track with the diet throughout the holidays. Say no to all those treats, and get yourself out of the house if you can’t stand the delicious scents wafting from the kitchen.
- Focus on eating right –– When it comes to holiday eating, it’s easy to give in to temptation. Many people try to cope with temptation by cutting way back, and this only makes it easier to fall into temptations down the line. Instead of trying to restrict yourself, make it a point to eat as much as you can, but ALL healthy foods. If you are hungry and feel tempted by the cookies, make yourself a tasty dessert that’s low in calories. If you need to eat and want something sweet, have dried fruit, nuts, or natural dark chocolate to satiate your sweet tooth. Focus on making the right eating choices, and you’ll avoid a lot of the Christmas weight gain.
- Start the day out right –– If you start the day with a healthy breakfast, you’re far less likely to be hungry throughout the rest of the day. You’ll also start the day out with healthier eating choices, therefore establishing the healthy mindset that you will follow all day long. It may be hard to have a big breakfast, but it’s the smart way to go!
- Have a little –– The keyword here is “a little”. Enjoy those snacks you can’t help but love, but limit yourself to ONE cookie, piece of pie, or slice of cake. Just a little won’t hurt as long as you keep it in check.
- Control portion sizes –– This is most important on Christmas Eve, when you and your family are sitting down to a Christmas feast. Don’t let yourself overindulge, even on healthy foods like turkey or salad. Try to control your portion sizes, and watch what you eat. Stick with the healthy calorie intake you’ve established for yourself, and you’ll be far less likely to gain weight.
It’s not easy to avoid the holiday weight gain, but it can be done! If you’re smart and determined, you can stay fit throughout the Christmas season.