Quick Summary of How To Keep Weight Off Over Christmas:
- Don’t Stress So Much About it
- Don’t Go To Dinner On An Empty Stomach
- Stop Eating When You’re Full
- Don’t Rely On The Gym
- Weigh Yourself Daily
- Be Smart With Alcohol
- Make Good Sleep A High Priority
- Go Easy On The Caffeine
- Embrace The Holiday Cheer
- Consider A Supplement
- Don’t Get On Facebook So Much
It’s easy to gain weight during the holiday season.
There’s always food everywhere. Tons of parties and family gatherings that involve hanging out and eating. This is why knowing how to keep the weight off over Christmas needs to be on your mind. Otherwise, before you know it, you’re 10+ lbs heavier than you were in October.
The good news is that most of the things that will help you are easy. Sure, it’ll take a personal commitment and some self-control. But if not gaining weight is important to you, you can do this without too much trouble.
Here are 11 easy ways to not gain weight during the holidays.
1. Don’t Stress So Much About it
The more you stress, the more likely it will be that you’ll put on some pounds. Stress does a number on your body. Your mind is powerful and directly affects all your body’s systems.
If you’re constantly feeling worried about gaining weight, you’ve created another hurdle to clear. There’s a difference between being stressed about something and being conscious of your surroundings. The latter is where you want your headspace to be.
And to be completely honest, the average holiday weight gain per person is a lot less than you might think. It’s less than 3 lbs. So try not to lose sleep over it.
We’re certainly not saying to not worry about it at all. You still need to have a plan and make smart choices when it comes to food. But don’t let it overtake your thoughts. If you slip up and eat a second brownie, don’t beat yourself up. Just don’t go for a glass of eggnog after.
The holidays are about family, friends, fun, and giving. That’s what’s most important. How to keep weight off over Christmas is also important, but don’t let your thoughts about it ruin your holidays.
2. Don’t Go To Dinner On An Empty Stomach
This might seem counterintuitive, but skipping meals increases the chance that you’ll binge eat later.
A lot of times people say, “I’m skipping lunch so I’ll be hungrier for dinner.” That’s just it! You don’t want to be hungrier for dinner! The stronger your desire for food is in a given moment, the more you are likely to eat. Make sense?
Purposely arriving at a Christmas party on an empty stomach in an effort to lose weight is backward. You’re just making it harder on yourself to withstand the temptation of food.
If you want to know how to keep weight off over Christmas, don’t skip meals. Eat breakfast and lunch as you normally would before going to Grandma’s house for your holiday family meal. You’ll eat less and it will be easier to stop when you’re full.
Another thing here is don’t give in to trying “a little bit of everything”. It’s very unlikely that you’re going to actually like everything anyway. So there’s no point in wasting the calories. Just eat the stuff you know you are going to like.
3. Stop Eating When You’re Full
Why is it that during holiday meals, we always seem to pile more food on our plate than we normally would?
Maybe it’s because you feel obligated to try some of each dish because someone you love made it. And you want to be able to tell them that you tried it in case they ask you.
In our experience, this concern is way overblown. The likelihood of every person who made food coming up to you individually and asking if you tasted it is really low.
Whatever that feeling is that makes you stack food on your plate, don’t give in to it. Listen to your body. It will tell you when it’s full. Put smaller portions on your plate and go sit down. If you know you’re honestly not full, go and get smaller portions yet again. This will help you not to overeat.
4. Don’t Rely On The Gym
As you already know, the percentage of people who go to the gym goes way down in December. Even if you are a regular gym-goer, the chances of you going less in December is high.
That’s because it’s the busiest month of the year. But guess what? That’s okay! The gym doesn’t need to represent your only outlet for exercise. Don’t get down on yourself if you have to miss the gym sometimes during the holidays.
If you know how to keep weight off over Christmas, there are other ways to stay active. Some of these may seem silly to you but trust us. They work.
- Park in the very back of the store parking lot. This will give you a lot of steps to and from your car. And when you’re carrying a bunch of bags, that will give you even more of a quick workout.
- On days when you know there’s no way you’ll get to the gym, plan to walk your dog. She’ll love you for it and you’ll get a good mile or two in. No need to run if you don’t want to. Walking is great for keeping the pounds off. Waking up early to do this is usually best.
- Exercise at home when you can. Run on the treadmill if you have one. Workout to a video in the front room.
5. Weigh Yourself Daily
Doing this will keep your weight status top of mind. Standing on the scale once every morning will help you stay true to your good habits.
This suggestion is not supposed to make you obsessed with your weight. It’s simply a way to keep yourself accountable. And it works. This is a great way of how to keep weight off over Christmas.
6. Be Smart With Alcohol
Alcohol is not a great choice for people who want to lose or maintain their weight. Wine, beer, and the like ARE NOT friends to weight loss.
That doesn’t mean you have to abstain completely. But it does mean you need to practice moderation. Studies show that people who historically drink very little (if any) drink more than they normally do during the holidays.
Don’t be a part of this trend. Don’t keep drinking just because it’s there. Have a glass or two and then put your glass in the sink.
A smart thing to do is have your drink on the rocks. The ice dilutes the cocktail. It’ll lower your buzz. Another thing weight-conscious folks sometimes do is use soda water as a mixer for liquor. It lowers the calories a lot.
Also, don’t have a drink right before you go to bed. It’s much better to stop drinking 3-4 hours before you actually hit the hay. This allows the alcohol levels in your body to drop which will lead to much better sleep. And getting good sleep is important to keep weight off over Christmas.
7. Make Good Sleep A High Priority
Wanna know how to keep weight off over Christmas? Don’t stay up late.
Statistics show without a doubt that people who get less sleep – and less quality sleep – are heavier. You’ve simply got to prioritize sleep if you intend not to gain weight during the holidays.
It’s imperative. Some people will say, “Oh, I’ll just catch up on my sleep during the weekend.” This is certainly better than nothing, but it doesn’t accomplish what most people think it does.
When you take really long naps, or sleep in till 11 am, you usually feel really tired when you wake up. And usually, you continue to feel tired for the rest of that day. This is because you’re not adhering to what’s called your circadian rhythm.
Your circadian rhythm is your body’s natural sleep clock. If you sleep during abnormal times of the day and for more than 8 hours, this throws off your body clock. There are negative repercussions to this behavior. And weight gain is usually one of them.
Do your very best to go to bed at a reasonable hour and wake up at a reasonable hour. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night if you can. If you must take a nap, that’s totally fine. Just make sure that your nap is no more than 30-60 min.
8. Go Easy On The Caffeine
Caffeine stimulates your nervous system. That’s the last thing you want when you’re trying to learn how to keep weight off over Christmas.
And there are drinks that have caffeine that you might have forgotten about. Hot chocolate, for example, has caffeine. So do many antibiotics and pain medications.
And this goes without saying, but you already know that soda pop is not healthy. It definitely promotes weight gain. So don’t sit on the couch and go through 3+ cans of Mountain Dew while you’re hanging with friends. You’re not doing yourself any favors where weight is concerned making choices like that.
9. Embrace The Holiday Cheer
How is embracing holiday cheer part of how to keep weight off over Christmas? Let us explain.
There was a rumor going around a few years ago that suicides increase during the holiday months. This is absolutely not true. In fact, it’s the complete opposite.
December, of all 12 months, has the lowest suicide rates. This is probably because the quantity and quality of social interaction goes up in general during Christmas time. That’s a great thing!
Happiness promotes health. This statement is rooted in science. And on the flip side, sadness and depression promote weight gain and other unhealthy results.
Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year! Embrace the holiday spirit! Put up your Christmas decorations. Put the lights on your house. Make an effort to give gifts to others more than in years past. Physical gifts and acts of service.
All these things will make you happy. Guaranteed. And as a result, it will be easier to keep the pounds off because your body’s chemistry will be working for you. Not against you.
Now, this is much easier said than done for some people. But if you live far away from your family, do your best to plan social interactions with others you care about. Or, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the holidays, don’t feel bad to opt-out of some events. Do what you can to maintain a positive mental state.
10. Consider A Supplement
Depression can be relieved with omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamin D. Foods like walnuts, flaxseed, and fish are good sources of these. If you can, add some of these to your diet and see what the results are. People react differently to these. But it’s certainly worth trying.
Supplements are definitely a part of how to keep weight off over Christmas for many people.
11. Don’t Get On Facebook So Much
This final suggestion is tied to the very first suggestions about stress. It’s important to mention a second time how stress affects your weight. Without going deep into the science behind, just know that it REALLY affects it.
And Facebook is such a huge source of stress it’s crazy. People’s lives on Facebook are mostly fake. You already know this. So don’t get sucked in to being jealous of all the glitz, glam, and seemingly perfect lives of others during Christmastime.
It’s not real. Everyone has problems. And most of them have worse problems than you, they just don’t post those for everyone to see.
Just do your own thing. Don’t let the artificial pressure of Facebook affect you, your weight loss goals, or your happiness. All that other social media junk simply does not matter. You got this. Focus on how to keep weight off over Christmas.