December 12, 2018

How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

tips for maintaining healthy weight during the holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or so the song goes. Sure, it is full of joy and festivities, but it is also full of a lot of eating! A lot of us just accept that we’ll gain some weight during this time of year. Between all of the family gatherings with a large spread of food, the holiday parties with all those scrumptious bites to eat, and all the candies and sweets that mark this time of year, gaining a little bit of weight is almost an inevitability.

But – it doesn’t have to be! A recent study in the U.K. called Winter Weight Watch has some simple tips that you can incorporate that can help you keep the weight off during the holiday season. Continue reading below to see what they said!

Tips to Keep Weight Off During the Holidays

The study was recently published in BMJ and has a lot of good advice that is easy to implement. It doesn’t involve starving yourself – you can indulge a little, but don’t go overboard. Rather, the things that were controlled were the amount of information the test subjects had in regards to their holiday festivities.

The participants, of which there were 272, were split into two groups called an “intervention group” and a “control group.” The intervention group was instructed to weigh themselves at the beginning of the study. They were also to weigh themselves twice per week during the study, as write their reflections on their weight.

This group also received literature that had tips on maintaining weight. Information included sticking to portion control at meals, keeping alcohol and sugary drinks to a minimum, and keeping a regular exercise routine. Most impactfully, they also received a sheet that showed how many minutes if exercise would be required to burn off popular food and drinks that are common during the holidays.

The control group, on the other hand, received minimal literature relative to that of the intervention group. They got a leaflet that talked about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. This leaflet did not have any advice that was specific to the holiday season.

Participants were weighed before Christmas, in November or December, and again in January or February. In the end, it was found that those in the control group gained about a pound of weight over the holidays. Those in the intervention group did not gain any weight.

My Thoughts

Overall, these aren’t groundbreaking tips. Don’t go overboard on unhealthy snacks. Keep an exercise routine. These aren’t revolutionary, but it pays to take heed. While the difference is slight, at only around a pound, every pound of unhealthy weight you can keep off is a big gain in terms of its impact on your health. One pound can become two, can become three, etc. over the long term.

It pays to be informed about healthy lifestyle habits. Make smart choices for good health. Be disciplined even when food and drink are aplenty. Go ahead and enjoy your holidays, but be aware of the consequences of overindulging yourself!

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Claire Owens occasionally pulls herself away from pilates class long enough to contribute her opinions on health products and topics. When not working out, she enjoys pampering her Yorkie with lavish treats and days at the spa.

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