An often-cited statistic is that the typical American packs on 1-2 pounds over the Holiday Season. While that might not sound like much, if you do this year-in and year-out, on top of other weight gaining factors…things could get heavy!
So why do people tend to gain weight over the holidays? A number of factors could be at play:
- Stress – the Holidays can be stressful for many reasons, and some people turn to food when emotions run high
- Greater availability – face it: you don’t see cookies and cakes and candy ever as much as you do around the Holidays, there’s just more bad food constantly in our faces!
- Less activity – cold weather can be a deterrent for physical activity; if you’re not offsetting your calories with motion, pounds can creep up
- Alcohol – the Holidays mean celebration, and many celebrations come hand-in-hand with alcohol and their added calories
With parties and gatherings galore, it can seem challenging to keep your health in check. So here are a few tips to help fight the heaviness that sometimes gets associated with the Holidays:
- Make a plan – exercise earlier in the day if you know you have a party later; bring your lunch to work if dinner means drinks and food with friends…keep in mind that, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
- Never show up hungry – you’ve likely heard this one before, but don’t show up to the festivities when you’re famished. Have a snack ahead of time to ensure you don’t overdo it at the party.
- Walk it off – the Holidays are a great time to get together with friends and family, so why not get everyone together outside for a brisk walk after dinner? You can spend time together in places other than on your butt!
Whatever your holiday has in store – don’t forget that it doesn’t HAVE to involve weight gain. Stay active and savor small versions of what the season has to offer!