15 Tips to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

by Peninsula Herbal Dispensary

Did you know that the average weight gained during the holidays is 0.37 kg for a lean person, and greater than 2.3 kg for an overweight individual?1 While this may not seem like a lot, people rarely lose this weight the following year,2 so in just five years, a person could gain 2 to 12 kg just by overindulging at the holidays.

Making healthy choices during the festive season can be challenging, so arm yourself with these tips to feel healthy and keep holiday weight gain at bay:

Start With Your Mindset

  1. Work towards a goal. Whether you want to lose or maintain weight or feel healthy and vital throughout the holidays, keeping your eyes on the prize will inspire healthy choices. Need help with your goal?
  2. Take the focus off food. The holidays are ultimately about spending quality time with family and friends. Make people your focus by starting conversations at holiday events, helping the host, and even approaching lonely-looking guests for a chat.

Prepare For Events

  1. Go in with a plan. Decide how much you will eat ahead of time (for example, one plate of food and one dessert). Stick to the plan.
  2. Bring a healthy plate. Contributing something wholesome to the spread will give you and other guests a healthy choice.
  3. Do not fast. Do not try to ‘save’ your calories for the event by not eating during the day; being hungry may trigger overeating. Instead, eating a healthy snack before the event may help you moderate your intake.

Be Smart at Parties

  1. Keep it in proportion. Fill half your plate with vegetables, a quarter with grains, bread or potatoes, and a quarter with meat or other protein sources (e.g., beans, nuts). This will give you a balanced meal that is likely to be lower in calories.
  2. Step away from the buffet. Standing at the buffet table may inspire overeating. Instead, serve yourself and walk away.
  3. Slow down. Taking the time to chew each mouthful will allow you to savour and digest your food properly. Doing this helps prevent both overeating and indigestion. Also, putting your fork down between each bite will assist with this. Keep in mind that it can take as long as 20 minutes for the body to register that you are full, so take a break before you go in for seconds.
  4. Choose deliciously. Choose only the dessert that really appeals to you; leave everything you are not crazy about.

Avoid Binge Drinking

  1. Keep it under four. According to the NHMRC Australian Alcohol Guidelines, drinking more than four standard drinks per night is classified as binge drinking:3 equals two restaurant servings of wine or two and a half full-strength cans of beer. Avoiding binge drinking helps prevent hangovers, nausea and vomiting, and overeating calorie-dense junk foods that seem like a great idea at the time or the morning after.
  2. Alternate with water. A glass of water between each drink helps keep you hydrated, reducing the risk of a hangover. This tactic also slows your alcohol intake, giving your liver more time to process.
  3. Eat before you start. A starchy meal slows the absorption of alcohol, helping your liver cope.

Stay Active

  1. Exercise in the morning before Christmas shopping and other events take over your day.
  2. Schedule it in. Booking your workouts as unbreakable dates will help you stick to them. Add them to your calendar and set reminders for yourself.
  3. Have an active Christmas. Incorporate some exercise into your family Christmas ‘do’, whether backyard cricket, footy, or a family walk.

Using the tips above, you can look forward to a festive season feeling healthy and vital and, most importantly, preventing dreaded weight gain. For tailored assistance with weight loss or maintenance over this festive season, click here to talk to or book a consult with one of our accredited Naturopaths today.

This article was researched and written by Gauri Yardi and posted by Metagenics. Updated by Peninsula Herbal Dispensary.