During the holiday season it is difficult to eat well and stay healthy. However, you must focus on maintaining your physical and mental health, so do not avoid exercising. Here Brianna Elliott, RD, HealthLine.com, reflects on tips to help you avoid weight gain during the holidays:
“Holiday weight gain is a common concern for many adults.
Various seasonal holidays may encourage overeating, sedentary behavior, and consumption of calorie-rich foods. In fact, between mid-November and mid-January, adults in Western societies gain an average of 1 pound (0.5 kg) (1Trusted Source).
This may not seem like a lot, but most people don't lose this extra baggage. Therefore, holidays — no matter the time of year — may be one of the biggest contributors to your total annual weight gain.
That said, holiday weight gain is not inevitable.
Here are 20 tips to help you avoid weight gain during the holiday season.
Be active with family and friends
Sedentary activities, such as sitting on the couch watching TV, are common holiday traditions for many families.
Doing some type of physical activity with your family may prove beneficial for weight control. Even something as simple as a family walk can get your mind off food and allow you to bond with your loved ones.
You can also stay active during the holidays by signing up for a workplace or community fitness event. Races are popular options.
During the holiday season, unhealthy snacks like cookies and other goodies tend to be available for you to take as you please.
When treats are easy to access, you’re more likely to snack unnecessarily.
At home, this problem can be solved by keeping treats out of sight. However, that strategy is more difficult to avoid in situations that you cannot control, such as at your workplace or a family party.
Try to be mindful of your snacking habits. If you find yourself munching just because there's food around — and not because you're hungry — it's best to avoid snacking altogether.
However, if you are hungry and need a snack, opt for real foods. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are filling snacks that don't contain added sugars or unhealthy fats — both of which can lead to weight gain.
Watch your portion sizes
When the holidays arrive, it can be easy to overload your plate.
Those who eat larger portions tend to gain weight more easily than those who don't (4Trusted Source).
The best way to overcome this is to control portion sizes or use smaller plates.
To determine an appropriate portion size, read food labels and the recommended serving sizes listed on recipes. If you can’t do either, use your best judgment to fill your plate with a reasonable amount of food.
Practice mindful eating
People are often in a rush during the holiday season, which frequently leads to multitasking during meals.
To prevent this, eat mindfully and minimize distractions — including work and electronics.
Try to chew slowly and thoroughly, which will allow you to better recognize your body's fullness signals and consume fewer calories (7Trusted Source).
It can also be helpful to take a few deep breaths before you start eating. This can induce relaxation and help you keep your full attention on your plate, rather than your to-do list.
Get plenty of sleep
Sleep deprivation, which is quite common during the holidays, may cause weight gain.
Sleep restriction may increase your hunger hormone levels, ultimately leading to higher calorie intake.
Additionally, inadequate sleep has been linked to lower metabolism. This may be caused by alterations in your circadian rhythm — a biological clock that regulates many of your bodily functions (10Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).
Keep meals balanced with protein
Holiday meals are typically rich in carbs but low in protein.
In fact, eating protein with meals may automatically reduce calorie intake by reducing hunger and appetite (20Trusted Source).
For these weight-management benefits, you should include at least 1 ounce (25–30 grams) of protein in each meal (17Trusted Source).
Good sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish, and some plant foods like beans and quinoa.
Limit your dessert intake
Instead of eating every treat in sight, just focus on your favorites and ditch the rest.
Another trick is to savor the desserts you do indulge in, simply taking the time to eat them slowly — which may leave you feeling more satisfied and less likely to overdo it.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tips-to-avoid-holiday-weight-gain#section11
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