Introduction

The holidays are an exciting time of year. But between the parties, it’s also a time when people tend to gain weight. In fact, between mid-November and mid-January, adults gain an average of one pound per week as this tends to be the time of year when we go for the comfort foods. This may not seem like a lot, but most people don’t lose the weight they gain over the holidays.

Follow these top 7 tips and you will avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain

1. Be Active With Family and Friends

Try an activity as simple as a family walk can provide benefits, as it will get your mind off food and allow you to bond with your loved ones.Try signing up for a workplace or community fitness competition or event to give you something to aim for.

2. Be Smart When Snacking

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.

3. Watch Your Portion Sizes

The best way to overcome this is to weigh and measure your food, or eat off smaller plates. To determine an appropriate portion size, read food labels and the recommended serving sizes listed on recipes.

4. Practice Mindful Eating

Studies show that those who eat while they are distracted are more likely to overeat. This is because they are unable to pay attention to their body’s fullness signals. To prevent this from happening, eat mindfully without distractions, including work and electronics. Another way to eat mindfully is to eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly, which will allow you to better recognise your body’s signals of fullness and consume fewer calories

5. Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep deprivation is quite common during the holidays, and it may cause weight gain. This is because those who do not sleep enough tend to be hungrier, consume more calories and get less physical activity. The reason behind this is that sleep restriction may increase your hunger hormone levels, ultimately leading to higher calorie intake.

6. Control Your Stress Levels

Those who are stressed commonly have high levels of cortisol, a hormone that’s released in response to stress. Chronically high cortisol levels may cause weight gain, as they have been linked to greater food intake. There are plenty of things you can do during the holidays to reduce stress. Some options include exercise, meditation, yoga and deep breathing.

7. Keep Meals Balanced With Protein< Holiday meals are typically rich in carbs but lack protein. However, it's important to include some protein with every meal, as it promotes fullness and may be useful for weight maintenance. In fact, eating protein with meals may automatically reduce calorie intake by reducing hunger and appetite. Good sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish and some plant foods like beans and quinoa. Ensure your holiday meals include a serving or two of these foods to reduce the likelihood of overindulgence. For any further information on nutrition or training plans please email rich@121fitnesstraining.co.uk