5 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
Avoid holiday weight gain by walking after meals, drinking water instead of sugary drinks and more.
The average American gains anywhere from 7 to 10 pounds during the holidays. But holiday weight gain is not inevitable. By taking steps to be active and engage in portion control during the holidays, you can avoid having to make a weight-loss resolution come New Year’s Day.
Drink Water: The holiday season means that meats, sweets, breads and other calorie-laden foods are never in short supply. You don’t have to miss out on these goodies, but you can keep your calories in check by drinking water instead of sugary drinks or alcoholic beverages. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that choosing water rather than soda can cut 240 calories from your day.
Portion Control: Put your holiday grub on your plate in a way that will prevent overeating. As you serve yourself, divide your plate in half. Fill one half of your plate with vegetables—salad, greens, green beans, etc. Divide the other half of your plate into thirds filled with carbohydrates, protein and lastly dairy or fruit. Plate sizes have increased over the years so don’t use the largest plate in the cupboard to control your portions. Livestrong.com recommends using a 9-inch plate or a plate that appears to be medium-sized for the best results.
Take a Family Walk: After a big holiday meal, try coaxing some of your family members into an after-dinner walk. You’ll not only burn calories with this move, you’ll kick start the digestion process. What better way to avoid feeling full and bloated after a big meal? What’s more, studies show that walking immediately after a meal promotes weight loss.
Do Your Chores: There’s no shortage of chores to do when the holidays arrive. A variety of chores can help you burn calories, so don’t skimp on them during the holidays. Washing dishes by hand for 30 minutes burns 160 calories, according to Fit Day. Loading the dishwasher burns 105 calories. Scrubbing the bath for 30 minutes burns 200 calories and carrying shopping bags for 30 minutes burns just 10 calories fewer.
Get Rid of Leftovers: Americans don’t just gain weight during the holidays by overeating for one or two meals but by feasting on holiday leftovers for days, according to the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas. Free yourself of the temptation to indulge in holiday leftovers by having your guests take the goodies home with them.
[ALSO READ: Budgeting During The Holidays]