How to Avoid That Holiday Weight Gain

Ashley Slate, Staff Writer

Turkey. Pumpkin Pie. Christmas cookies. The holidays are here, which means eating season is upon us Keller High.  Did you know that the average American gains up to ten pounds during the most wonderful time of the year?  Never fear, the Wigwam is here. It is possible to enjoy the holidays without gaining a single pound. Here’s how.

Don’t Deprive Yourself

You don’t have to cut the good stuff out completely to maintain your current weight. Moderation is key. It’s perfectly fine to indulge in treats; just don’t go crazy. Have that small piece of cake or pie. It is the holidays, after all.

Don’t Skip Meals

You might think that skipping breakfast and lunch during the day will save you some extra calories for the big party that night, but quite the opposite. Skipping meals actually forces your body into starvation mode, causing it to store calories instead of burning them. This slows your metabolism down, causing weight gain. Skipping also makes you hungrier, causing you to actually consume even more calories than intended. It’s good to eat a small snack at least every four hours, to keep that metabolism going.

Eat Slowly

Our brains take about 20 minutes to register when we’re full. When you eat too fast, you usually consume more food than you actually need to. Take your time. Savor your food, and chew slowly rather than gobbling it down. Eating slowly also leaves you feeling satisfied rather than just full.

Eat Healthy Snacks

Don’t just fill up on junk. Balance out all the high-calorie holiday foods with healthy snacks.  This can include fresh fruits, nuts, whole grain crackers, and granola bars. When you fill your body up with healthier foods, you’ll have more energy to spend during one of the busiest times of the year.

Get Moving

Exercise is the perfect way to burn off the extra calories from holiday goodies. Whether it’s walking, running, push-ups, or sit-ups, try to get yourself moving at least 30 minutes a day. Besides just getting yourself in shape, exercise has a ton of other benefits, such as reduced stress, stronger muscles and bones, improved mood and mental health, and even a reduced risk of cancer. Get active!

Get Some Sleep

Here’s another reason to get those extra hours in at night. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your metabolism doesn’t function properly. When metabolism slows down, weight gain speeds up. If you want to keep the extra pounds off, a good nights rest is crucial in staying healthy.

Don’t Count Calories

There is no need to keep track of every single thing you eat; you’re not on a diet. Spend your time enjoying the holiday season; don’t focus on the exact amount of calories you’re taking in and burning off. As long as you don’t go crazy and eat everything in sight, you should be fine. Relax. Have fun.