"Intake of calorie-rich foods, sedentary habits, and overeating are the main contributors to weight gain during the festive season."
Weight loss can be a time-consuming process, but you can achieve it by incorporating simple things such as limiting junk and fatty foods, cutting down on sugary drinks, staying hydrated, limiting late-night eating, eating small amounts frequently, consuming foods rich in fiber, and avoiding a crash diet. It requires enormous willpower to limit weight-gain-related foods during the holidays. Here are some awesome tips on how to avoid weight gain and keep checking on your health during the holidays.
Consume meals balanced with proteins
Consuming protein in every meal during the holidays has a vital role in weight maintenance since it facilitates feeling full in the body. It helps reduce calorie intake by limiting hunger and appetite. Incorporating proteins in your meal increases the level of appetite-reducing hormones and metabolism. You can add about 25 to 30 grams (1 ounce) of protein to every meal. Protein is also essential for cutting snack cravings, which leads to a reduction in calorie intake, thus facilitating a healthy diet for weight management. You can increase your protein intake just by consuming high-protein foods, which include:
Plant-based protein: legumes (kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas)
Dairy: yogurt, cheese, milk
Fish: sardines, trout, and salmon
Meat: lean beef, turkey, pork, and chicken
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Consume foods rich in fiber
Fiber is a vital nutrient that induces fullness. Consuming rich-fiber foods can help reduce overall calorie intake, which help with weight management over the holidays. Since festive foods lack enough fiber, consider the intake of fiber-rich foods such as legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Fiber helps to slow down the speed of digestion and the body's response to carbohydrate intake, which facilitates eating less and staying satisfied for longer. Intake of soluble fiber may also help to prevent belly fat gain.
Limit the intake of liquid calories
Beverages and calorie-rich liquids are prevalent during the festive season. Soda, alcohol, and other sugary drinks contribute to weight gain during the holidays. Alcohol is associated with increased appetite, which facilitates weight gain. Consider the intake of calorie-free drinks such as water during holidays for better weight management.
Adjust your recipes
High-calorie foods are the primary cause of weight gain during the festive season. You can modify the recipe to avoid weight gain in many ways, such as:
Replace sour cream, mayo, and cheese with yogurt.
Use other cooking methods, such as steaming or baking, instead of frying.
Replace flavor dishes with spices and herbs instead of butter
Consider flavoring your drink with lime or lemon instead of sugar.
Instead of heavy cream, use skim or low-fat milk.
Use sparkling water or club soda rather than sweetened beverages.
Flavor: consider using extracts like almond, peppermint, and vanilla in place of sugar and butter.
Incorporate dried fruits instead of candies, chips, or chocolate.
Use low-calorie alternatives such as erythritol, stevia, or xylitol in place of sugar.
Stress level control
Keeping up with holiday demands may be stressful. Stress is associated with high levels of cortisol, a stress response hormone. Cortisol is linked to high food consumption, which may contribute to weight gain during holidays. Stressful lifestyles may increase your cravings for junk foods. It is essential keep the stress levels in check especially during holidays when you are surrounded by sedentary and unhealthy foods. There are several ways to prevent stress, including meditation, yoga, taking a hot shower or bath, exercising, and taking a deep breath.
Drinking a lot of water increases the rate at which calories are burned. About 17 ounces (0.5 liters) of water intake increases calories burned for about an hour. Consider replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water to prevent weight gain during the holidays. Consuming 1 cup of water may reduce weight gain by 0.13 kg (0.23 lbs). Drinking water before meals reduces appetite, thus resulting in impressive low-calorie consumption, which facilitates weight management.
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Engage in exercise
Exercise is the best way to maintain weight during the holidays. You can engage in about 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week instead of watching television after meals, or take a walk with yourself or family. A walk of 20 to 35 minutes may help you burn more calories overall.
It is recommended to have a daily routine for your exercise during holidays, not only to keep the heart healthy and our bodies fit but also to manage stress and improve moods, which leads to a healthy body weight balance.
Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep is a contributing factor to weight gain during the holidays. People who sleep late have a tendency to consume their meals late, thus packing on the pounds. Lack of sleep is also linked with stress, which increases your food intake. Sleep deprivation is associated with a lower metabolism caused by the alteration of the circadian rhythm. Quality sleep helps to limit food appetite and calorie intake that result in weight management during holidays.
Avoid or limit the intake of processed foods
Processed foods contain unhealthy fats and excess added sugar that may take a toll on your body weight. To avoid weight gain during holidays, consider cooking the meals from scratch or take whole foods. Processed foods such as pizza, ice cream, sugar-sweetened coffee, chips and french fries, and chocolates are high in fats, calories, added salt, and sugar, which contribute to weight gain.
Minimizing distractions and mindful eating enables you to pay attention of the body fulness while eating. Chewing slowly make you recognize fullness signal thus fewer calorie intake. Consider taking a deep breath before consuming your meal as it may facilitate relaxation, which allows you to keep full concentration and attention on your plate.
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During the festive season, maintaining weight goals may feel draining. Mindful eating, fiber-rich food intake, getting enough sleep, incorporating proteins in your meals, exercising, and limiting calorie liquid intake during the holidays are tricks and tips that help you manage your weight, stay healthy, and stay happy during this time of year. Diligently follow these tips will not only prevent weight gain during holidays but also weight loss within the celebratory season.