Oh, the Dread
The November and December holidays are some of the happiest times of the year. Whether it’s the first snowfall, holiday parties, or the anticipation of a new year just around the corner, holidays bring festive vibes.
The only holiday downside: the abundance of holiday treats, and as a result, holiday weight gain. Savory appetizers, sweet baked goods, and alcoholic drinks fill homes, hands, and eventually, our bodies. We just cannot keep up with the extra calories day in and day out for eight weeks.
The Bright Side
If you’re fearful of the dreaded weight gain, take comfort in a bit of good news. Contrary to popular belief that the average American gains approximately 5 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, researchers report the actual weight gain is closer to one pound. In a study of 195 adults over a 6- to 8-week period, researchers found that the average weight increase was actually 0.8 pounds.
The real problem of holiday weight gain isn’t the extra slice of pie at dinner, it’s the tendency to not lose the weight come January. Researchers explain that since the added weight gain isn’t reversed, the “fall/winter weight gain appears likely to contribute to the increase in body weight that frequently occurs during adulthood.”
Fortunately, there are several weight management strategies to help you maintain a healthy weight this holiday season that might even become a weight loss meal plan for the rest of the year.
An intermittent fasting weight loss regimen alternates between brief periods of fasting, followed by periods of less structured eating. Unlike prolonged fasting, which shifts your body’s physiological responses and prevents weight loss, intermittent fasting focuses on producing positive metabolic changes.
Programs like the 131 METHOD offer holistic eating plans that focus on fueling and nourishing your body. The 131 METHOD incorporates intermittent fasting for curious participants, and teaches the why, when, and how of a successful experience. The 131 Method teaches you how to transition to a 12-hour, or even a 16-hour fast. Since the 131 is fully customized for your life and needs, the duration is entirely up to you.
Starting an intermittent fasting weight loss plan before the holidays helps the body adapt to this type of structured eating, helping you maintain a healthy weight while still indulging in holiday fun.
Balance Nutrient-Dense Foods with Holiday Treats
Depending on which fasting routine you choose, try balancing healthy foods with holiday treats and avoiding “binge” tendencies during non-fasting periods. Selecting nutrient-rich foods that sustain you throughout the day helps avoid fixations on holiday indulgences. Pairing healthy, nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats with holiday treats prevents overindulgence.
Have a Plan for Non-Fasting
IF carves out a timetable for eating. Pay attention to the calories (and types of foods) consumed during non-fasting hours. It’s okay to indulge in a treat, but you can’t go crazy, even if your eating window is small.
Supplement with Fluids to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
During times of fasting, drink as much water as possible. Other options that don’t spike blood sugar include: herbal teas, coffee (in moderation), lemon water, bone broth and other unsweetened beverages. This helps you feel full, and teas and lemon water also deliver nutrients and antioxidants. The fuller you feel and the more nutrients you receive during fasting periods, the less likely you over-indulgences occur..
About 131 METHOD
Created by entrepreneur Chalene Johnson, the 131 Method delivers personalized weight loss solutions. The program, including weight loss meal plans, was designed by experts including doctors, Registered Dietitians, and researchers. These same experts support the program and participants throughout their journey and beyond. The 131 METHOD removes the rules and barriers around eating and creates a customized approach to healthy weight loss.
Find out more about combating holiday weight gain at 131 METHOD at www.131method.com