We’re officially in the holiday groove. Emotionally and spiritually, most people regard the holidays as a net positive gain. Unfortunately, there’s also a net gain on the physical side of things, too.
A recent study confirmed that the average American puts on about roughly 1 pound from the 6 weeks that span Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. On the surface, that doesn’t really seem like a big deal. After all, that’s not even 3 ounces of weight per week.
But weight gain, like many other things regarding health, is rarely about what’s visible on the surface.
Bad Holiday Habits – How They Impact Positive Health for the Coming New Year
It’s not just that 1 pound (on average) that can derail effort to attain good health, or even maintain an ideal body composition; it’s more about the small, subversive habits that can develop over that 6-week stretch. Nobody wants to put on weight during the holidays. In fact, most people would love to maintain their current weight, without having to feel like they’re enduring a joyless holiday season.
Vigilance against those creeping calories can’t be overlooked, though. Indulge that dessert tray too often, and you could be among those Americans who see significant weight gain over the holidays. Some of us are known to pack on around 5 pounds!
Stay in Your Weight Range – 5 Smart Tips
With that in mind, here are a few pointers about how to avoid excess weight gain during the holidays.
- Load up on healthy appetizers. You’re going to be at a few holiday parties – there’s no getting around that. But instead of destroying the cookie table, front-load your meal with veggies and dip, fruits and other relatively healthy choices. The natural fiber will keep you satisfied, and you’ll also avoid those empty calorie treats closer to bedtime.
- Don’t stress over a few bad choices. If you have an extra éclair, don’t sweat it. Even if you have a huge glass of eggnog, don’t worry too much. It’s the holidays, so you should enjoy some sweets…up to a point. Which leads us to the next tip.
- Know your hot-button foods. Everyone has certain foods they love to indulge. For some, it’s chocolate. For others, it’s those sweet and salty snacks. (Of course, some love both of those!) Figure out what you can enjoy without overdoing it. Mindless eating is the root cause of most holiday weight gain.
- And move some more. Don’t forget about exercising, even if your holiday schedule means you can’t work out on a “normal” schedule. Go for a brisk walk outside. Wake up a little earlier to get in a weightlifting session. It’s the little things, activity-wise, that’ll go a long way in making sure you maintain your weight.
- Take control of your diet with smart shopping. Not every meal during the holidays is a “holiday meal.” Stock up on healthy fruits and veggies. Since fresh berries are tough to find in the winter (in some parts of the country), go with frozen berries instead. Aim for variety, with minimal indulgences for everyday meals – you’ll have enough sweets and treats during parties.
Stop by an Urgent Care Extra walk-in clinic today for more information. We have more than 40 healthcare facilities spread throughout the U.S. Southwest region. To learn more about Urgent Care Extra, please call a healthcare consultant at (480) 988-9108.