As the weather turns colder and the days grow shorter, activity levels naturally drop and the upcoming holidays tend to involve binging on sweets and starchy foods.
A 2000 study found that holiday weight gain may be an important contributor to the rising prevalence of obesity.
The average weight gain in the 6 weeks from mid November to January 1 ranges from 1-5 pounds.
In a subsequent study, successful weight losers maintained greater exercise, greater attention to weight and eating, greater stimulus control, and greater dietary restraint, both before and during the holidays.
A few tips:
- Keep portion sizes of “bad foods” small,just a bite or two of triple chocolate cheesecake may be enough
- Increase your exerciseon the days before and after a particularly indulgent event
- Load up on cinnamon, it’s a warming herb that has been shown to keep blood sugar levels stable and insulin levels lower
- Stay well hydrated and drink 2 cups of water before each meal
- Have the soup, studies have shown that soup before a meal reduces overall caloric intake
- Get back on track. If you go overboard, don’t beat yourself up, just regroup and get back on track with your usual healthy habits.
Source: Nutr Rev. 2000 Dec;58(12):378-9 and J Consult Clin Psychol. 2008 Jun;76(3):442-8.