Holiday Weight Gain Doesn’t Have to Be a Thing 

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Holiday weight gain doesn’t have to be a thing. Temptation is all around during the holiday season. From cookies in the break room to the abundance of holiday parties with delicious food and cocktails we only get to indulge in once a year.  For many, this can lead to anxiety and a fear of gaining weight during the period between Halloween and New Years.

While I hear many complain of a 5-10 pound increase in weight during this season, I am here to assure you that is primarily water weight. However, the 1-2 lb weight gain experienced by the average person can still be annoying or a cause for concern for many.  So let me share the simple recommendations I give my clients during this time of year to help you feel your best during the holiday season, while still enjoying treats.

Crowding Out

Crowding out is often a technique that I use when I am helping a new client transition to a healthier diet.  It allows you to still enjoy the foods you love, without overindulging,  The simple recommendation many dietary experts give is to eat before attending a party.  I add to this by suggesting a high protein meal that will help stabilize your blood sugar and combat cravings.  

For those that drink, having a healthy fat with your protein can slow alcohol absorption. Couple that with a lower sugar option for your beverage and a glass of water before and after, and you are less likely to feel the negative effects the next day.

When the option of a wide range of foods, such as a potluck or buffet are available, seek out the vegetables and protein options first before supplementing with some of the more indulgent sides and desserts.  By satisfying your hunger with healthier options, you will notice you aren’t as likely to need a plate full of chips and dip or a sample of every cookie.

Move Your Body

When everything is so busy, exercise can be the first thing to go. But even a brisk 10 minute walk outside can get your blood flowing, boost your energy levels and leave you less likely to be tempted by the treats.

If you are able to make it to the gym, resistance training helps to utilize the extra glycogen from the treats to fuel the muscles. You may notice you actually feel stronger and are able to do more!  Resistance training also has the added benefit of keeping your metabolism higher, helping you to burn more calories throughout the day.

Don’t Forget to Hydrate

This one seems to be a no-brainer, however, as temperatures cool and the holiday hustle kicks in, many of us see a huge dip in our water intake.  This not only leads to the body confusing dehydration with hunger, but can also make you feel more lethargic and crave sugary treats.  

Most of all, water attracts water, and when our hydration levels are low we are less likely to be flushing water retention from the body, leaving us to feel extra puffy. This is likely where we see the largest shift in the scale.  

Much like choosing healthier foods before reaching for the treats, making sure you are drinking enough water beforehand can also help in preventing over indulgence and holiday weight gain.

It’s Okay to Enjoy Yourself

I am not a fan of restriction and will never be the dietitian that tells you certain foods are off limits unless you are experiencing intolerances or allergies.  Take these little tips and use them to help you manage cravings, energy levels and your health, but please enjoy that cookie too!

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