Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Are you ready to fill yourself on ham and turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and eggnog!! Each holiday season we tend to make excuses for ourselves, and why it is ok to binge on food and overeat. Many of us often go so far as to experience physical pain from eating.

Our stomachs stretch and expand as a result of overeating. This can ultimately lead to a larger stomach and the need to eat more to feel full. This can turn into a vicious cycle as we consume more and more food to keep from feeling hungry. The holidays are the most common time of year for this to occur. Becoming aware of your overeating and following these simple methods will help us keep from punishing our bodies and gaining weight during the holidays.

Drink a glass of water before every meal. This can help us to feel full before we start eating, so we do not overeat. Likewise, wear pants that are tighter than normal which will also help you to feel full. Keep your portions down to your normal size. If you typically only eat one plate of food, then stop yourself at one plate, and do not continue on to seconds, thirds, etc. Just remember that there are always leftovers you can enjoy later.

Learn to eat slower. The faster we eat, the longer it takes our stomachs to catch up with our mouths. Although your stomach is getting full, it does not signal your brain that it is full until after you have overeaten. This is often the cause of stomach cramps and pain after a heavy meal. When we eat more slowly it gives our body time to realize our intake and tells us to stop eating. The food tastes good, enjoy it slowly.

Do not go to sleep after eating. You may feel tired after eating which is natural for the body. When our body begins to digest food it releases hormones and chemicals that cause a reaction in the brain that makes us sleepy. When we take a nap after eating we allow our bodies to slow down and less of the calories are burned off and more turn to fat. If you begin to feel tired, take a short walk which will help get your energy back.

Continue to exercise or find alternative ways to get physical activity. During the holiday season, we tend to sit around more than usual as we spend time with our friends and family. Find the time to exercise and stick with any of your routines. If you cannot make it to the gym, take a few laps around the house, or walk up and down the stairs a few times. Any activity is better than none, and as little as 15 minutes a day can help you keep from gaining weight during the holidays. Avoid weight gain during the holidays by following these simple tips. Not only will it help you from needing a larger pair of pants, but it will also help keep up your energy level. Just because Uncle Bob eats that third slice of pie does not mean you should.

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