Worried about holiday weight gain? Here’s how to reduce your risk
We may like to reassure ourselves that it’s okay to eat and drink whatever we like at this time of year because ‘It’s the holidays’, but the reality is that many people put weight on at this time of year, and then struggle to lose it again afterwards.
Holiday weight gain is a real thing
Everybody’s weight fluctuates throughout the year. However, research from the UK suggests that following the holiday period, people put on 0.4-0.9kg of extra weight.1 And often they don’t completely shed it again in the following months.
Even though this weight gain is small, when it occurs year after year, holiday weight gain can add up over time.
Why are we so prone to weight gain over the holidays?
It’s easy to understand why weight gain is so common at this time of year – after all, this is the time that we all like to relax and have a break from our regular eating routine.
As a result, we often consume more calories than we burn through activity, with the end result being that many of us put on weight.
Other reasons why we gain weight over the holidays1:
- Extended time off work can lead to prolonged overeating and less physical activity
- A more relaxed lifestyle and increased amounts of socialising mean you may consume more calories due to being presented with a wider variety of high-calorie foods, more alcohol and increased portion sizes
- Cultural or family traditions that dictate that particular energy-dense food and drinks should be consumed (think chips and dips, desserts, soft drinks, alcohol and more), making it difficult to stick to a lighter meal plan
- Meals that last longer than usual, giving you more time to graze over the morsels on offer
- For many people the silly season is a stressful time, which may make it more difficult than usual for you to exercise self-restraint when it comes to your diet
Tips for avoiding holiday weight gain
If you're keen to maintain a healthy body weight these holidays, or if you've successfully lost weight and don’t want all your hard work to come undone, these tips might just help you stick to the straight and narrow:
- Monitor your weight and dietary intake more closely than usual over the next few weeks, so that if you do start to gain weight, you can take corrective measures quickly
- Devote some of your increased leisure time to exercise, which will help to offset the increased calories you’re likely to be tempted by at all those barbecues, parties and long lunches
- When it is your turn to host or to bring a plate, choose light options and small serving sizes. You won’t be the only person at the table who’s grateful for a break from the heavy eating!
- Eat a healthy breakfast every day; doing so helps keep your blood sugar stable, which in turn may make it less likely that you overindulge later
(TIP: For additional support, consider the mineral chromium, which is required for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels)
- Offer to be the designated driver so that you’re not tempted to drink (alcohol can contribute lots of calories to your daily intake, especially when mixed with soft drinks)
- Fill your plate up with salad so you’re less inclined to overindulge in weight-promoting food like starchy potatoes and white bread, and when it comes to protein, trim the fat off meat and poultry, or choose a seafood option
- Make a conscious effort to increase your exercise over the holidays to help counteract some of the increased food and drink intake that you’re bound to indulge in at some stage
- Think before you shop; you might not have much control over what you’re served when eating out, but at home, if it’s not in the fridge or cupboard, you can’t eat it!
Chromium helps maintain a healthy metabolism
Minerals such as chromium help the body to metabolise fats and sugars, and therefore help healthy people (including those who are overweight) to maintain a healthy metabolism. Try chromium alongside garcinia with 60% hydroxycitric acid (HCA), coleus and gymnema in Fusion Garcinia Cambogia Advanced.
For optimal results, we recommend taking a combination of Fusion Garcinia Cambogia Advanced before meals.
- Mason, et al. BMJ 2018;363:k4867.