Many people worry about gaining weight over holidays, as it’s when we traditionally let our hair down, relax, and indulge in foods high in fat, carbs, salt, or sugar. Big family meals, office events, chocolate, desserts, and alcohol can all result in holiday weight gain, so it’s normal to see a few extra pounds creep onto the scale.
Thankfully, short-term weight gain is usually temporary, so don’t worry too much if your jeans get a little tighter in December, as there are measures you can take to get back on track once the celebrations are over.
Here’s a look at why we gain weight over the holidays and some holiday weight loss tips you can take to help you lose the excess after the festivities.
Is it normal to gain weight over the holidays?
Yes, weight gain over the holidays is normal. For most, it’s hard to forgo the fabulous food and drinks, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Despite popular belief, holiday weight gain can be caused by many factors, not just overindulging in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year.
Seasonal depression, stress, lack of sleep, and a change in your circadian rhythm due to time indoors can also play havoc with your metabolism and result in weight gain and unhealthy eating habits.
Experts believe that breaking a diet occasionally can be beneficial. Often people fail to succeed with diets because they put too much pressure on themselves or have unrealistic expectations and expect instant results. It takes time and discipline to lose weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle – and no one is perfect. So don’t worry; once you settle back into a routine and your body readjusts to a healthy momentum, weight loss will follow.
What is the average weight gain over the holidays?
Many believe they put on far more weight than they actually do over the holidays, but a survey suggests most pack on less than a pound. Of course, if you frequently party and make bad choices, your waist may suffer, but most excess weight is usually caused by water retention, as carbohydrates and salt cause your body to retain fluid.
Water retention is also the main reason you feel swollen and bloated after a heavy meal, plus the physical weight of the food eaten also plays a role on the scales until it’s properly digested.
How to lose weight after the holidays
Avoiding weight gain during the holidays is tough, but the start of a New Year does spark good intentions and a fresh start, so January is traditionally the month we vow to become healthy, lose weight, and begin a diet. Our social media feeds become filled with adverts for the latest diet fads, so it takes time to sieve through the hype and find a weight loss regime that may work for you.
Most diets cut calories and restrict what you eat, but this method has a habit of backfiring and is the main reason most achieve only short-term weight loss on these plans. The reason is that when you don’t eat enough, your metabolism slows down, so when you return to eating normally, you tend to gain weight back quickly.
In contrast, intermittent fasting focuses on when you eat – and the benefits are clear: you can lose weight, it doesn’t restrict calories, the plan is easy to follow, it doesn’t slow down your metabolism, and it can even boost your mental and physical health. This is why intermittent fasting is an ideal lifestyle choice and diet for most people.
Can holiday weight gain be reversed?
It’s never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle or lose weight, so it’s important not to beat yourself up if you gain weight over the holidays or hit a plateau. It is far more productive to put an effective weight loss strategy in place for the future rather than dwell on the past.
Feelings of guilt often trigger depression and can cause you to eat more, so focus on the now by signing up for Fasting Kompanion today, the pocket-sized support that keeps your intermittent fasting plan and weight loss on track!
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