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Eat A Healthy Diet? You Can Still Gain Weight During The Holidays!

Updated on October 26, 2014

The holidays are about many things including love, kindness, and food. In fact, many people would argue that food is the staple of the holidays. No matter where you go, there is food present in one way or another.

It is interesting that 75% of the annual weight gain occurs during the holidays, and it almost seems like a given that you will gain weight no matter what kind of diet you eat. But this year you can be the one person who doesn't have to complain about weight gain after the holidays.

You can avoid/outsmart holiday weight gain! All you have to do is understand the following top five reasons weight gain occurs over the holidays and how to avoid it this year.

1. You Know You Are Eating Better Than Everyone Else So You Make Excuses

Your coworkers chow down on pastries, your friend eats the unhealthiest cheese filled dip you have ever seen, and by comparison, the food you eat is extremely healthy.

Many people take the argument that since their food is healthier than everyone else's, they can eat more than they should and not have to feel bad about it. Then, when the weight gain happens just as bad as their coworkers and friends, they wonder what happened.

Researchers say that overeating is the main reason for obesity in America. No matter what kind of food you are eating, overeating is still overeating, and when the food you eat has excess calories and fat, you are going to gain weight. For instance, guacamole is healthy in sensible portions, but when you eat a whole bowl of guacamole, you are consuming large amounts of calories and fat (roughly 367 calories and 34.8g of fat for one cup). In other words, healthy food or not, you can still eat more calories and fat than your body can burn off.

We all know that the only food we overeat is food we find delicious, and there is a lot of delicious food around on the holidays. To avoid temptation, don't compare the health value of your food to other food and allow it to become an excuse. Instead, be honest with yourself, avoid excuses, and avoid overeating this year.

Do You Usually Get Stressed Out During The Holidays?

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2. Your Hormones Become Out Of Balance

The holidays can be stressful, and when your body is under stress your hormones can go out of whack and promote weight gain.

When you are stressed, cortisol is secreted, and when that happens your appetite can increase. But, cortisol does not only cause you to want to eat more, it also causes fat to deposit in unhealthy areas, such as the abdomen.

This year, make the holidays as stress free as possible. Get a good amount of sleep, meditate, take time out for yourself, create a to-do list to help you get all tasks done, and get help when you need help. Do whatever you have to do to beat holiday stress that can contribute to weight gain.

3. You Upset The Balance In Your Diet

The holidays are about treats, and healthy treats, such as raw food treats are some of the best treats around. Even if you avoid overeating, you may end up eating an unbalanced diet full of cookies and other sweets that contain high-fat foods such as nuts, coconut oil, and seeds, while avoiding all other foods to avoid overeating. When you eat excess fat, even good fat, you can start to store the fat you are eating.

During the holidays, eat a balanced diet. Don't exclude all of those yummy treats and dips, but don't favor them over other foods.

At every party and get together you will find all types of foods (and the raw foods are usually the last to go), so ensure your plate has a balance of healthy and yummy, and you will be on your way to avoiding weight gain. And don't let people guilt you into eating their 'special' holiday foods over the other healthier options. You are in charge of what you what you eat, and if you want to eat a balanced diet, they cannot force their food into you.

4. Sitting Takes The Place Of Moving

The holidays are a time to visit friends and family, and that usually causes us to break our habits of exercise. We excuse it by telling ourselves that we need to spend time with our loved ones, and that watching our all-time favorite movies is much more important than getting on the treadmill or lifting weights.

Make physical activity a priority this holiday season. You can get physical and still hang out with loved ones. Get your friends and family involved and go out for a walk or play a physical game. If they are reluctant, then take out one hour of your day and devote it to exercise.

Make a goal of exercising at least once a day, no matter where you are, and stay motivated by knowing you are doing your body good and avoiding the anxiety and anger that comes with weight gain when it is all said and done.


5. You Replace Water With Wine

The holidays are a time to drink liquids that we do not normally drink in high amounts. Wine and other drinks with names we have never heard of before pop up at all kinds of parties, and once one is consumed it is hard to stop. Drinking is a social thing, and holidays are a social time, and water can take a back-burner to more important drinks.

It is obvious that these special drinks have more calories than water, but there is another reason weight can occur. When you stop drinking water, your body gets thrown out of balance. Water plays an important part in our of the body's processes, including metabolism and digestion. Studies have shown that when water decreases, fat storage increases because water helps to metabolize stored fats.

This year, you don't have to stop drinking all those fancy holiday drinks that you are offered, but you should ensure that you drink at least an equal amount of water. This means every time you finish a drink, you should have one tall glass of water (or more) before starting another one. As a bonus, you will find that all the liquid you are consuming will help you to avoid overeating.

In the end, the holidays are a time of weight gain, there is no doubt about it. But, by understanding why weight gain occurs, you can avoid/outsmart holiday weight gain!

Don't make excuses about the food you eat, stay as stress free as possible, eat a balanced diet, keep moving, and drink lots of water. All of these things will help you avoid the dreaded weight gain and still enjoy the food and atmosphere that the holidays bring.


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    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the great ideas and tips. I will definitely keep them in mind this holiday season!

    • cristianneacsu profile image

      cristianneacsu 4 years ago from Bucharest, Romania

      Christmas is around corner, yes you have right...

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thanks for sharing cristian...that shows how much exercise can really benefit our health and weight. But yeah, the holidays are a whole other matter. :)

    • cristianneacsu profile image

      cristianneacsu 4 years ago from Bucharest, Romania

      Well if it is about weight loss I experimented once in my life when I divorced... I goes out in the park and walk for weeks then run for months... was about 25 kilos lost in 3 month, no special diet, only walking and running 10 kilometers per day.

      Otherwise I am a completely newbie if we talk about things you talk above.

      That's why I apreciated your hub.

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thanks Cristian, do you have any tips?

    • cristianneacsu profile image

      cristianneacsu 4 years ago from Bucharest, Romania

      Vote UP, liked and shared to my friends, nice hub I hope you'll give use even more tips.

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thanks for the tip Crafty! I will take that into consideration this year. :)

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      All great points! The holidays started early for me this year with Halloween candy. LOL I've started eating gluten-free and one thing I've learned is that peanuts or trail mix can decrease appetite. I used to be addicted to carbs so the holidays were really bad for me. But now I eat a handful of homemade trail mail and it helps fight cravings.