Christmas is coming which means lots of food. Many worry about this time of year, not because of all the delicious food, but because of the weight that often comes with it. The good news is that a lot of the weight that people gain during the holidays is usually water weight (temporary). The scale goes up because of all the food you ate as well as the sodium in the food (makes you hold water). That being said, studies show that people gain about a pound on average during the holiday season. Remember, this is an average. So some people may gain more or less than others. Here are a few ways to flat out prevent or at the least lessen the amount of weight you gain during this time of year.
Exercise More Often
Most people get more days off this time of year, so you have more free time to hit the gym and exercise. Use this wisely. Exercising will help your body burn off a bit of the calories you are eating (not really that much though), but more importantly, the exercise will allow the calories to feed your muscles rather than going to waste and feeding your fat cells. Exercise increases something called nutrient partitioning. Exercise also speeds up your metabolism, thus helping to burn more calories. Make sure these workout are intense. You should be huffing and puffing. They shouldn’t be a walk in the park.
Go Higher Protein and Fiber, Lower Carbs
This doesn’t mean not to eat carbs at all, but it means to focus your meals on lots of protein and fibre. Protein can help to speed up your metabolism compared to carbs and fat and fibre helps to slow your digestion, giving you the fuller feeling. Protein is also what feeds your muscles, so if you want to build muscle or “tone” up your body, it’s the way to go. Minimize the carbs in favor of protein and veggies. Turkey takes priority over Aunt Judy’s sweet potato pie.
Do Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is when you skip breakfast and postpone your first meal of the day or just don’t eat at all. You limit your eating to what is called an “eating window”. There are many different ways of doing it. A popular way to do it in the fitness world is to fast for 16 hours of the day (part of that will be when you are sleeping) and use the other 8 hours of your day as the eating window. This means that if you have your first meal at 12 noon, you should stop eating by around 8pm. The premise is that it gives your body more time to eat into your body’s fat stores (during the fasting period).
Use these tips to help prevent holiday fat gain. The holidays are made to enjoy, so don’t forget to enjoy yourself too and to refocus yourself once the holidays are done.