December 6, 2019
The holidays have come and we are all excited. The thought of seeing friends and family, enjoying festive entertainment and (especially) looking forward to holiday food and drink is all very welcome in the dark winter months.
However, there are consequences, surely? All that lovely food, sitting around indoors and sitting up late drinking with friends will have an impact on your weight.
Of course, but not necessarily. I’ll explain below how you can make sure that all the approaching, festive merrymaking doesn’t come with too much weight gain.
This is the most important thing. Your weight isn’t so much a reflection of your short-term blunders, but rather of your overall, or aggregate, lifestyle choices.
If you eat perfectly, either at maintenance levels or a moderate caloric deficit made up of all the right things, six days per week, every week, then cheating and splurging on the seventh day won’t have much impact. You will be much slimmer and healthier than somebody who splurges every day or every other day.
This is true of the festive season. If you eat healthily and control your weight 11 months of the year, and then relax a little in December, you will still be a slim, fit individual. You may put on a few pounds over the holidays, but this is OK. It will go away quite quickly: on aggregate, your weight and lifestyle will be where you want them to be.
So, don’t worry so much about holidays. Keep everything else in check and then enjoy yourself once in a while.
This being said, if you are worried about holiday weight gain then there are some things you can do over the festive period that can limit its impact on your waistline:
A lot of us spend the holidays slumped in front of the TV, or else gathered around the dining table, eating, drinking… and not moving. Of course, this is lovely sometimes. Part of the joy of the holidays is to relax a little and catch up with friends and family.
However, it’s a good idea to intersperse these sedentary activities with more active ones. Try going on a long winter’s walk one day. Give ice skating a go if it’s available to you. Anything that you can do socially whilst moving a little.
The turkey dinner isn’t the worst culprit for adding inches to your waistline over the holidays. Those bowls of chocolates, crisps and nuts are. The odd drink is. The covert tucking into of leftovers plays its part.
Whenever you eat, do so mindfully. Don’t graze mindlessly on this kind of junk. This is a good rule of thumb for everyday life and will almost guarantee that you will eat less.
You will also enjoy what you do eat a lot more.
Gut bacteria regulate how you digest food, how your body responds to inflammation, how satiated you feel… lots of things, essentially, that have a direct bearing on your weight.1
Upsetting your gut bacteria with a break in your usual schedule can upset your gut bacteria. This in turn will hinder your body’s ability to keep bodyfat off. A good quality multi-probiotic supplement like MIRIKEL DigeZ can help with this. It will keep your good stomach bacteria where you want them, which in turn will mean your digestive health is where you want it.
In addition, eat plenty of fibre and make sure you get your protein in. Holiday food is notorious for sugar and fat. This is OK in moderation, but fibre and protein will aid in satiation, whilst fibre will help to maintain a healthy balance of good gut bacteria.
The holidays can be notorious for sleeplessness. You’re traveling long distances to visit people, getting up early for flights and trains, beating the traffic and so on. You’re up late with friends and family. You’re up early to check on your stocking… the hours of sleep lost can add up.
We all reach for sugar when we’re tired. The buzz it gives us gets us over our lethargic slump. Sleeping properly will reduce this.
In addition, sleeping will help to keep your hormones well regulated, whilst simultaneously boosting your metabolism.2 All in all, getting a good 7-9 hours sleep per night will lead to lower bodyfat levels. Try to keep your sleep on track during the holidays.
As I said at the beginning, don’t worry too much about the holidays. If your general lifestyle is healthy and your weight levels are doing what you want them to be, you can absorb a bit of junk once in a while.
If your lifestyle and weight aren’t what you want them to be, look to control them in the long term, rather than simply worrying about special occasions.
However, if you do want to mitigate the pounds put on over the coming festive period, these tips should help you on your way.