Weight Loss Plans

Holiday Indulgence Guide For Guiltless Eating

160 reasons to be glad the holidays are over (...

160 reasons to be glad the holidays are over (168/365) (Photo credit: reallyboring)

Who doesn’t gain weight during the holidays? Dieting or not, the holiday season is jam-packed with food and “FULL” of complaints about gaining weight. Five months filled with family and social gatherings  focusing on nothing but food and drink.
So what I’m about to say might be surprising but it provides important details on weight gain during the holidays.
A study tracked 165 middle age culturally diverse men and women about 40 years old to identify actual weight gain during the holiday season. Results suggest that weight is the main factor in determining the amount of weight gained over the course of the holiday season.
People who weigh more gain more.  The results showed a 1-5 or more  pound weight gain over the course of the holidays. For many, damage done during the holidays was not that bad,  only about a pound of weight gain. For others who are overweight or obese, maintaining weight was more challenging.  More weight, was gained (greater than or equal to 5 pounds) by individuals who were overweight or obese. And, this pattern held true in different studies for children too.
If that was not enough to swallow, sink your teeth into this.
Holiday indulgence is not just an isolated event, you will be amazed to find out what happens after the holidays. You might think that as time goes on and all the foods associated with the holidays are no more, New Years‘ resolutions are made and preparations for bathing suit season begin with diets and other weight loss tools, that the weight gained during this time frame would melt away. Yet to the contrary, this study suggests that holiday indulgence may be more powerful than you realize.
It seems that fat gained over the holidays is stubborn and participants in this study had not lost the seasonal weight that was gained. Something to think about as Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day approach. The authors also admit that although their methods helped produce reliable results, there are demographic groups that may not be represented and that people who are not as health conscious or those who fall into a lower socioeconomic group may have different more dramatic results.
Over indulging during the holidays is not benign, it can be fatal to long-term dieting and good health. Consider this in planning your diet strategies over the next month or two. Of course, there is no reason to deprive yourself this season but there is a difference between indulgence and over-indulgence. Keep the odds stacked in your favor, follow these “Holiday Rules” or create your own.
How To Indulge Without Over Indulging
1. Ask yourself, “Is one or five days worth a lifetime of being heavier?”
2. Commit to losing a few extra pounds before or during the season
3. Follow a 3 teaspoon taste rule: One spoon because it is a special holiday food. Two, because you know you want seconds and three is “one for good luck”. An incentive to stick with the plan. Then the rest is given to someone else or thrown out.
4. Do not deprive yourself. Pre-select the foods and the amount of food you will eat on each of these holidays.
5.  Pace yourself and take specific intervals of time between eating
If your weight has not budged or has only moved in the wrong direction, try sticking to a nutrition plan over the holidays as a self commitment promise knowing that the same foods will be waiting for you next year when you weigh less.
Some tips that can help get you through the holidays
Eat to make a change, eat to lose weight and be healthy. Eat during the holidays just do not overeat. But if you do, if you gain weight, how will you prioritize the weight loss so you can prove this study wrong and lose the seasonal weight gain?

About the author

Valerie Goldstein

Valerie raises the bar for health and nutrition know how with unconventional expertise and unconditional support for wellness.