Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

We all know that holiday season is typically defined by feasts, family dinners and treats you would not eat otherwise.

As statistics show, this tradition has lead us to gain weight, which is seldom if ever lost during the rest of the years. While it is not as bad as often portrayed in media, even the 0.5% – 0.6% of bodyweight gain can be troublesome for a person unsuccessfully trying to lose weight throughout the year.

It is important to take a look at traditions and how they play into the big picture of things.

During holiday season we tend to feast. Our eating habits change and some people even feel compelled and encouraged to overeat.

For example, some people during Halloween dinner eat till they feel sick.  It is not anything I would recommend you to practice.

When we look at the root of many celebratory traditions, they were accompanied by feasts. Eating is not only about nutrition and fueling your body. It is also an important cultural piece and social tradition. What I mean is we usually welcome guests with a good food and drink.

Historically speaking, during feasts we would eat much more than normally. That was O.K. as few centuries ago many people struggled with food and feast was only possible a few times a year. Even the least fortunate would put together a bigger meal than normally.

Feasts were an important social event either facilitated by or featuring the surplus of food, resulting in the experience gaining social and political ties and a competitive element to display one’s own wealth

Every Christmas season, an estimated 3.6 million Japanese families treat themselves to Kentucky Fried Chicken, in what has become a nationwide tradition.

But our eating habits have changed. No longer we struggle with food availability (in the first world countries). What we eat nowadays could be a feast years ago… and we feast on top of that.

For example in Japan, KFC successfully ingrained into the society celebrating Christmas with buckets of fried chicken.

“This is another sign of globalisation, where consumer rituals spread to other countries and often get translated in different ways,” Rokka says. “It’s not abnormal now to have an Ikea store everywhere in the world. This KFC for Christmas is just taking our consumerism and turning it into a holiday.” (source)

I think that everybody would agree that eating huge amounts of fried food is not good for your health nor body shape.

Instead, take a look at the tips I provided below that will help you to keep in shape or even lose weight during this (and following) holiday season.

Some more tips and ideas:

  • When visiting family and friends, everybody tends to bring cookies, alcohol and cakes. These foods are typically not very nutritious. How about bringing a side dish such as this amazing cucumber,mint & tomato salad?
  • If your goal is to keep calories at bay, use low-fat substitutions in baking and cooking. For example instead of peanut butter you can use powdered peanut butter (PB) or flavor drops that are calorie free but deliver the taste.
  • Search for fitness friendly recipes. Nowadays, you can find great cakes with rich taste that will not break your calorie budget. Try these chocolate rolls.They are relatively low in calories and full of taste. Or these gluten free oatmeal raisin muffins
  • Use flavored protein powder as a sweetener.
  • Yet another example of a fit-friendly dessert can be apple galette. it is light as most of it is apples and cinnamon.

Lean, powerful, healthy with nutrition approach that works for you

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