If you’re like a typical American, the holidays start around Thanksgiving. With friends and families gathered at the dinner table and then packing into the spare bedroom later that night, it’s hard to stay in a routine. And by Christmas, you’ve been in the holiday rut for four weeks. Tack on New Year’s and the upcoming Superbowl, it’s no wonder that we get out of our healthy eating habits.
Two months of less exercise and overeating does the obvious. It packs on the pounds. The scary thing is a recent study showed those pounds are not just idling, waiting for you to kick them in the new year. They stick around until summer. All the sudden the pumpkie pie you ate at Thanksgiving followed by those Little Debbie Christmas trees stick with you until the fourth of July.
A recent study of nearly 3,000 adults from across three countries found that in the 10 days after Christmas, there was up to a 0.6 percent increase in weight gain, compared with the 10 days before Christmas.
In the United States, adults gained an average of 0.6 kilograms in the period between Christmas and New Year.
Furthermore, the researchers found that by the following summer, participants had only lost around half of the weight gained over the holidays.
A little weight gain might seem ok… that is, until you consider everything that can come with weight gain. Back pain, brain fog, high cholesterol, and even heart attack are directly related to excess weight.
Here are some tips for getting you to Independence Day with a smaller muffin top.
- Fill up carrots and celery before the big meal. There will be plenty of food to go around. If you’re nibbling on some hearty vegetables, full of fiber, you can still be social without adding as many calories from a regular cookie bar.
- Don’t wait for the holidays to be over to get some exercise. Ask your family to go for a walk instead of just sitting in the basement. It’s not much, but it will burn some calories, not to mention get the blood moving and make you feel less uncomfortable after a big meal.
- Have plenty of the unsweetened flavored waters around. Often, the fruit taste of something like La Croixx or Perrier will be enough of a sweetener to stifle your sweet tooth. And flushing your system with water over egg nog or a mulled cider is always a good thing.
- Don’t just mindlessly eat in front of the television. Smart snacks like popcorn can still add tons of empty calories if you’re not careful. Do a natural substitute for popcorn laden in butter-Put olive oil and salt on it. If you still really want flavor, you can jazz it up with spices or a spritz of lime juice. You’ll be surprised what some imagination on a light snack can do.
Good luck with the holidays and be conscious of your food choices. They could stick with you until beach season if you’re not careful.
What do you think of fat staying with you for months? How do you make sure you’re enjoying Christmas food without adding inches to your waistline? Let us know in the comments below.