Holiday weight gain is common but not inevitable. With the right strategy, you can enjoy hanging out with your family and friends during the winter holidays without having to make a weight-loss resolution soon after.
Our experts at Hampstead Family Medicine and Burgaw Medical Center want to share a few tips on how to keep the pounds at bay during the holiday season.
Avoid hyper-palatable food combinations
Hyper-palatable foods consist of a combination of sugar, salt, and fat. These foods trigger the reward system in your brain and overwrite your satiety signals, causing you to eat more and feel hungrier for longer.
Most hyper-palatable foods are processed. Although some foods are high in fat, they aren’t as hyper-palatable as processed foods. What’s easier to eat in one sitting, 10 eggs or 10 cookies?
Eggs aren’t only high in protein, which makes you feel full very fast, but they’re also low in sugar and contain very few calories. Eggs have 158 calories per 100 grams, whereas chocolate chip cookies have 485 calories per 100 grams.
Aside from cookies, other examples of hyper-palatable foods include processed white bread, processed breakfast cereals, potato chips, gummy bears, doughnuts, ice cream, cake, and pizza.
Walk 30-60 minutes per day
Aside from burning calories, walking builds good habits. It improves cardiovascular health, and it can help you keep your bones strong.
Walking can also be a good tool against boredom. Instead of spending hours inside your house, where it’s easy to grab food, go outside for a walk.
Increase your protein intake
Protein keeps you fuller for longer when compared to fats and sugars. Not only does protein have a high satiety score, but it doesn’t spike insulin, the fat-storing hormone.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, carbohydrates have the lowest satiety score and spike insulin the most.
Plan activities that don’t involve food
The holiday season doesn’t always have to gravitate around food. Enjoy your dinners with your family, but don’t plan all of your activities in places where you can easily grab a snack and a soda.
Instead, consider taking your family out to bowling or mini-golf. Or go caroling, as many people, especially the elderly, feel lonely during the holidays.
Prevent weight gain during the holidays with a healthy eating plan
Healthy food doesn’t always mean bland food. Our team at Hampstead Family Medicine and Burgaw Medical Center can teach you how to cook delicious, satiating food that promotes weight loss.
Contact us to schedule an appointment and find out how you can prevent weight gain during the holiday season.