3 Reasons Why You Gain Weight During the Holidays... And What to Do Instead
We’re about to enter one of the biggest eating seasons of the year: the holidays! If you aren’t careful, you can easily gain 10 pounds by the end of the year! I know I wouldn’t want to start 2013 buying pants in a bigger size, so here are some ideas to help you ring in the new year feeling great:
Mistake #1: You skip breakfast.
Holiday events are often characterized by a big meal (or party) later in the day. Often, people will skip breakfast in an effort to save up their calories, since they know they’ll be pigging out later.
Here’s why this will actually cause you to gain weight: Your metabolism is red-hot from the time you wake up in the morning until about 2pm. After that, it starts to slow down. If you're eating a majority of your calories in the evening, your body will store it as fat.
What to do instead: Eat breakfast! Keep your body balanced and your metabolism burning by maximizing this optimal calorie burning time.
Mistake #2: You show up starving.
How many times have you stalked the kitchen on Thanksgiving, wondering when the feast will be served because you’re starving! I've been guilty of that.
Here’s why this will actually cause you to gain weight: When we begin a meal in starvation-mode, we're more likely to overeat, which is a surefire way to pack on the pounds.
What to do instead: Have a snack before you go. One of my favorite go-to snacks is an apple with almond butter. This way, if you show up and the meal isn't served asap, you can socialize and have some fun. Also, when the meal is ready, your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach.
Mistake #3: You keep eating when you're not hungry.
It's probably a no-brainer as to why this causes weight-gain, but I'll say it anyway: if you’re eating more food than your body needs, it’s going to store it as fat. Do this a few times and your clothes may start feeling tighter than normal.
What to do instead: If we think of our hunger on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being stuffed and nauseous, you want to aim to stop eating at a 7. Ideally, this is where you feel full and satisfied, but not busting at the seams. This will leave you feeling light, clean and energized.
Being aware is the first step, now start putting it into practice! Keep food on hand for breakfast, gather snacks and practice stopping at a 7 today. This will help you soak up the holiday cheer without packing on the pounds, which will truly make this the most wonderful time of the year!