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Avoiding Gaining Weight During the Holidays
Christmas is that wonderful time of year, not only where everyone is cheerful and excited to give and hopefully receive gifts, but also to spend time together. One of the things that makes Christmas so special is meal time, which is usually dinner time for most of us, or we all end up eating in the afternoon and too full still by dinnertime. There is certainly nothing wrong with indulging in some extra food on Christmas day.
If you were good about your health and eating habits for most of the year, than eating a little extra during the two major holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas time, are not going to remain at your waistline for longer than a few days. Most people focus on the actual days of Thanksgiving and Christmas, believing that these days are responsible for the additional weight gain. Truth be told is that it takes you eating exactly 3,500 calories to gain a pound, and while that can be accomplished in a meal, you gaining five pounds (17,500 calories) or ten pounds (35,000 calories) in a meal, where those pounds become permanent seems highly unlikely. Unless you have managed to keep going back for seconds and then thirds, and then you went for dessert, than maybe your pounds could be justified. However, if you have some self-control on Christmas day, either by using a smaller plate, or eating only what you really want, than you have a better chance of not gaining weight.
There are things you can do on your plate to reduce calories, such as avoiding the gravy or using only one tablespoon of gravy. Less stuffing, more chicken, turkey, duck, ham, or turducken. Some families love to go 4- or 5-courses and while it is amazing to see and eat, every single calorie counts on that day, so choose your calories wisely. Sticking to lower carbohydrate foods will allow you to eat more, but also give you a feeling of satisfaction, while stuffing yourself with carbs early on will leave you full and hungry later on. Your eyes on Christmas Day usually become much bigger than your stomach, but you can use portion control for a good idea of how much of a certain food should be on your plate when putting food on your plate by making a fist. With each serving of food you take, it should come out to be about the size or smaller than your fist.
As far as desserts go, if you really cannot help yourself and you want to try everything, than stick with the one-bite rule of each for everything. Yes, it is exactly how it sounds: Take a small bite and be done with it. It gives you a sample flavor of everything and that is all you really need. If you have a favorite dessert, than you may prefer to stick with the three-bite rule. Three regular sized bites (bite size being about tablespoon) and be done with it. Do not go back for more, just be done with it. Opt for the sugar-free desserts if possible. There are plenty of alternatives when it comes to baking desserts, such as skipping the flour altogether and opting for Almond or Coconut flour and replacing the sugar for an alternative sweetener, which definitely allows you to eat more of that dessert without the guilt.
During the holidays at meal time, I tend to take a smaller portion size sample of everything and eat that as my first plate. If I do go back for a second plate, it usually contains only the foods I really liked the most and want to eat more of, for which I usually take a normal portion size and by the time I finish the second plate, I need a break. It also helps to eat slowly, enjoy the time with everyone, look around, talk with family and relatives during this time, and just enjoy their company. Get up and walk around. It is okay that you do not stay at your seat and eat. Go hug your relatives, get in their personal space for a few minutes, and talk to them. This allows you to eat much slower, digest your food, and you end up not eating as much as you normally would had you just remained focused on eating the food on your plate for the entire time.
For the desserts, I stick with the one-bite rule if I decide to take a little sample of everything. Otherwise, if someone puts out cheesecake or chocolate pudding pie, every other dessert no longer has any priority at all. I have been on this Earth long enough to know the desserts and sweets I enjoy much more than others, though I’m not a big dessert person anyway. You know it too — if you do go out to eat at a restaurant and you happen to order dessert, you don’t order everything on the dessert menu, you order what you favor most, and you draw from the conclusions of what you enjoyed in the past – or you seek a new experience and order something you may have never had before — so as appealing as the apple crumb cake or the pumpkin pie or carrot cake might look, I would rather enjoy the calories from the dessert I love most, and I stick with the three-bite rule, which often just means a slightly thinner slice. If you really want the other desserts that are offered, than cut a few small pieces and save them for another day. Most desserts, if put in a container and refrigerated, will last and still taste great for a few days. It is hard not to want to live in the moment and enjoy it, but saving the piece for another time will be much more enjoyable than trying to stuff your face with a bunch of desserts all at the same time.
A major culprit that causes weight gain is not actually at the dinner table, but it is the moments leading up to Christmas time, the office parties and the snacks that everyone keeps bringing in throughout the week of Christmas, and New Years, and no one at the office can help themselves, and they just keep grabbing and grabbing. Donuts. Bagels. Pizza. Cookies. Soda. Juice. Everything sugar and simple carbohydrates. It all keeps adding up. I don’t want to tell you to be that person and be the one who brings in the healthy snacks, but some fruits or a little cheese and pepperoni might be a better alternative. All of those little grabbing moments keep adding up, leading to weight gain. On top of that, if you are not drinking water or tea, you are likely adding even more calories into your diet, and then heading back to your desk to sit there all day. Afterwards, you head home and then eat again.
You can definitely gain 10-20 pounds in a month but in a single day, it is much harder to do, so don’t feel guilty for loading up your plate once on Christmas Day and enjoying the food with your family. That plate is not going to make you gain 10 pounds. Instead, have better self-control throughout the entire month of December, of the time before, between, and after Thanksgiving and Christmas, where you are not grabbing food at the office from anyone and everyone who brings something in. Even if there is a Christmas party, go ahead and grab a few snacks, but there is no reason to overindulge. It is just food and there will be plenty more of it when you eat with your family. That is the time you want to really enjoy the food in front of you. Let us now focus on the infographic itself, because a lot of people eat A LOT of food on Christmas or during holiday seasons.
Food is what makes people happy, but unfortunately this leads to being overweight and obesity which is a huge problem in a lot of countries around the world, especially the United States. If only there was a way to enjoy delicious food and maintain a healthy body and lifestyle, well there is! If you put the points from this article into your life, you will notice a huge difference and realize that you can still eat great food and enjoy the time with your family without feeling guilty, or gaining any weight at all. And if you put on a pound or two, or ten, after the holidays, than other than feel depressed, go do something about it. Weight loss and weight gain both take time to do. Neither of them happen overnight, so take it one day at a time and you can and you will achieve your weight goals!
Have a wonderful holiday!
Article summary by Matthew Gates, infographic submitted by Mounota Rahman
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HOW TO AVOID WEIGHT GAIN DURING THE HOLIDAYS
- 58.3% of people admitted to gaining weight during last year’s holiday season
- 69% Don’t get enough exercise
- 38% often overeat during meals
- 42% Eat too much snack foods
- 57% Often eat for emotional reasons
- 17% Often eat for other reasons
IS IT POSSIBLE TO CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITHOUT GAINING WEIGHT?
Yes! You can and you don’t have to stop eating.
LET’S LEARN HO TO DO IT.
5 Reasons why Holidays Causes Weight Gain
- Social Pressure
- Broken Routines
- Emotional Associations
- Stress Increases
- Food Everywhere
WHAT TO DO DURING HOLIDAY?
- Physical activity while on holiday
- Control your stress levels
- Get plenty of sleep to make you less hungry
- Choose your alcoholic beverages carefully
- Eat fresh & healthy foods
- Pack your own foods while traveling
- Avoid rich dishes
- Be selective at the ice-cream counter
WHAT TO DO AFTER HOLIDAY?
- Drink water
- Eat more often
- Stay away from sodas
- Think positively
- Cut out the sweet stuff
- Increase daily exercise
Healthy NATURAL DIET