Holiday Season and weight gain
Overweight and obesity affect about one half of the U.S. adult population, and obesity once established, is challenging to reverse.
Several scientific studies show that the excesses committed in the celebrations of the last 6 weeks of the year, starting with Thanksgiving and ending after the New Year, contribute to this significant percentage of American obesity.
To better give you an idea, in this short period of the year, the average American gains between 2-3 pounds or more.
It does not seem like a lot, does it?
Well, what happens is that this excess weight obtained within the end of the year holidays is most often not fully reversed during the first months of the year.
In fact, while some Americans will lose between 1 or 2 pounds, the majority will not lose all the excess weight gained from the holidays, and the problem is that they accumulate this difference year after year.
As a result, adding in the 1-2 extra pounds of excess weight gained every year for 10 years, an adult American would likely add between 10-20 extra pounds to his/her total weight. This is being investigated as one of the causes of the obesity epidemic in the U.S.
For this reason, it is crucial to recognize that there are periods of time in the year when we are most likely to gain weight. That way we can develop prevention tactics that will allow us to make better and more conscious choices during these times.
I listed below the top 10 tips on how you can avoid gaining extra weight during this holiday season:
1 - keep your food and dessert choices very simple, choosing ingredients that are minimally processed or buy everything fresh
2 - control your alcohol intake and if it is possible, substitute alcohol with wine, which has fewer calories
3 - eat slowly and chew your food well (digestion of carbohydrate begins in the mouth)
4 - cut out the appetizers and watch your portion sizes - if you decide to eat a cake, limit that to a small piece
5 - chose protein over carbs (it is more filling)
6 - don’t skip lunch on Christmas Eve and eat a snack (something healthy) in the afternoon to wait for dinner
7 - to keep active: help set tables, cook, do the dishes, stand as much as possible, and also, exercise if possible (but don’t give yourself a reward for that)
8 - if supper is in a friend or family member’s house, bring a healthy option of food and dessert and if super is in your house and you have leftovers, give everything to your friends and family members
9 - work on your sleep - at least 7-8 hours a night – lack of sleep increases appetite
10 - de-stress and meditate
Consider that simple interventions sometimes are what is needed in order to avoid long-term costs.
I wish you all from the bottom of my heart happy holidays with plenty of joy and good health!
Also, let me know what you would add to the list above and leave your comment below.