5 Strategies For Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

5 Strategies For Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

This season has a dark side that I know many of us would like to avoid:

The holiday season usually means unwanted weight gain...

Followed by yet another January resolution to lose weight…

Which typically means following a strict regimen of food restriction and intense exercise—both of which are unsustainable.

At least that’s what usually happens…

But if you follow the 5 simple tips I’ve shared below in this health bulletin, you can enjoy the holidays without gaining an extra ten or fifteen pounds:

As the temperatures drop and the skies darken earlier and earlier, slipping into ‘hibernation mode’ is tempting.

But if your food intake goes up and your activity level goes down, your waistline is sure to grow. Which makes maintaining a moderate exercise routine key to your success.

You don’t have to go wild here. Something as simple as taking a 30-minute walk once per day, practicing yoga in the morning, or going for a bike ride can do wonders for your body.

The biggest culprit of holiday weight gain isn’t the holiday dinners themselves—the leftovers and abundance of snacks are what’ll get you.

One meal isn’t going to make or break your waistline, but if you find yourself eating pie every evening, don’t be surprised when you notice the extra pounds creeping on.

For this reason, I always encourage my patients to fully enjoy their holiday meals, but suggest giving away the leftovers.

For many, the holidays are the most stressful time of the year.

As we’ve discussed before, chronic stress wreaks havoc on your body, and can lead to a whole host of health problems over the long-term.

So if you find yourself overwhelmed this holiday season, try carving out some time to prioritize yourself, to relax and decompress.

Take a hot bath, read your favorite book, watch a movie with your family—anything that makes you feel happy and content will do.

During the cold winter months, we tend to spend most of our time indoors, and when we do decide to brave the cold, we’re bundled up.

This means your wintertime sun exposure is limited… Which is good for your skin, but bad for your Vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies, and when your body isn’t getting enough, you’ll find that your mood suffers.

In fact, 10 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder1, which is the depression caused by long, dark winter months…

Which often leads to cravings, emotional eating, and a BIG lack of energy.

Supplementing with Vitamin D daily is a fantastic, cheap, and easy way of boosting your mood and keeping those dreadful cravings at bay.

I’m all for a cozy mug of spiked apple cider, or a steaming hot cup of mulled wine…

But be sure to drink only in moderation, and be very careful when drinking around mealtimes.

Not only does alcohol slow your body’s metabolism, but your inhibitions will be lowered, increasing the odds you’ll reach for that second (or fourth) piece of pie.

Plus, when your body detects alcohol, which is a toxin, your body prioritizes burning off that alcohol, and stops burning carbs and fats for fuel. As a result, your metabolism slows to a crawl when you’re drinking.

There’s nothing wrong with drinking in moderation, but drinking in excess drastically increases the odds of packing on unwanted holiday fluff.

With all that being said, if you…

Keep your body moving… Are mindful of the leftovers laying around… Stay rested… Get plenty of Vitamin D… And minimize your alcohol intake… I can all-but-guarantee that you won’t feel like an overstuffed sausage on Jan 1st.

And that means you won’t need to jump on the New Years’ diet & exercise bandwagon again.

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