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How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Holiday gathering

The holidays are known for being a time to feast on rich, home-cooked meals and delicious desserts. This inevitably leads to considerable weight gain in a short amount of time. However, you can take steps to prevent weight gain during the holidays, and now is the perfect time to start. Getting started early gives you a chance to establish healthier eating habits and get used to making smarter food choices, even when you’re tempted.

Follow Your Hunger Cues

Eating just because you see tasty foods in front of you or when you have a craving is a quick way to gain weight over the holidays. Practice learning to eat only when you’re truly hungry, rather than when food is out. You can tune into these cues by pausing to ask yourself if you’re really hungry when you’re considering eating. Craving foods can happen for different reasons, including stress. Learning to pay attention to your hunger cues ensures that you’re only eating to fill up a hungry stomach.

Stay Physical

Avoiding holiday weight gain is about more than watching what you eat. Getting regular physical activity can also help prevent putting on more pounds this holiday season. Physical activity reduces stress and boosts your energy, which can also lower your risk of reaching for food when you’re not hungry.

Get Enough Sleep

Being tired and feeling sluggish during the day can cause you to overeat in order to feel more energetic. Getting enough sleep helps prevent this from happening. When you have regular sleep night after night, you’ll have enough energy to keep going throughout the day. You won’t feel as tempted to snack on sweets or other unhealthy holiday foods in order to stay awake and alert.

Slow Down When Eating

Rushing through meals can cause you to eat more than you meant to. Your stomach needs roughly 20 minutes to let your brain know that you’ve had enough food to eat. When you take your time eating, you have a much lower chance of overeating since you’re giving your stomach the time it needs to communicate with your brain.

Use a Food Diary

A food diary provides you with a chance to keep close track of what you eat. You can use this diary to help you stay accountable and follow certain dietary goals, such as eating a set number of calories or eating more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. As the holidays approach, you can also use this diary to plan ahead when you know that you have a holiday gathering coming up.

No matter what tips you follow to avoid weight gain during the holidays, it’s important to stick to them. Being consistent with your approach helps you be fully prepared to prevent yourself from gaining weight this holiday season.

To learn more about engaging healthy habits during the holidays, contact and make an appointment today with Dr. Purcell.

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