With their endless trays of treats and festive libations, the holidays may be a distant memory, but their culinary echoes linger on your tummy (and possibly the bathroom scale).
As one of your New Year resolutions was probably to adopt a healthier lifestyle, holiday weight gain is the perfect spark to get things moving. Not sure where to start? We have a few ideas that will pave your way toward long-term results.
How to Lose Weight after the Holidays?
To craft the most effective weight loss plan after the festivities, we’ll start by analyzing the root of the problem – why did the weight gain during holidays happen in the first place?
The elephant in the room is sweets, high-calorie foods, and a few drinks here and there. However, another interesting factor was pointed out in the study for eating with friends and family. The University of Birmingham came to the conclusion that we tend to eat up to 48% more food when eating in social gatherings compared to eating alone.
Add to that the fact that most festive foods tend to be irresistible (and extremely caloric), combined with a few alcoholic drinks (which are empty calories); the result is the infamous holiday weight gain. Luckily, you can revert that with a few simple changes.
Dietary Changes for Weight Loss
Now that you have your goals locked in, it’s time to make the first actional step toward shedding those excess holiday pounds. Doing so is simpler than you may think (in theory, at least).
The first “big secret” of sustainable and long-term weight loss is focusing on whole foods. When you prioritize whole foods like lean meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, you’ll soon notice that smaller amounts fill you up relatively quickly.
As these foods have high fibre content, they’ll promote feelings of fullness and require more chewing, making them an excellent choice if you are a “boredom eater.” They also take longer to digest, which regulates your hormones and prevents you from reaching for your next meal prematurely.
On top of that, whole foods have the healthiest macronutrient ratio you can imagine. In other words, by prioritizing whole foods in your weight-loss journey, you’ll get a balanced intake of carbs, proteins, and fats when you distribute them properly.
Make a Meal Plan
One of the reasons why people have difficulties with sticking to their weight loss plan is the lack of time and organization. When your daily chores pile up, cooking your meals is not a very appetizing activity, and at that point, you’ll usually resort to quick, unhealthy solutions.
To avoid that, you need to be one step ahead and plan out your meals in advance. By creating a meal plan and preparing your meals in bulk, you’ll save loads of time in the kitchen and have premade meals that you only need to heat up. Additionally, you’ll save money by buying items in bulk, and there’ll be fewer leftovers when you have your meals portioned up.
If you haven’t quite mastered the culinary art and prefer not to cook by yourself, the next best thing you can do is call up a healthy meal delivery service. Not only will you avoid purchasing items and cooking the meals yourself, but you’ll also get the healthiest meals without guesswork and have freshly prepared meals at your doorstep.
With that, staying on track with your weight loss after the holidays becomes effortless.
Limit processed Foods and Sugars
Processed and high-sugar foods are the biggest traps you can fall into in your weight loss journey. Even small quantities can have a huge amount of calories, making it easy to go overboard without you noticing.
Hence, limit foods like savoury snacks, canned and frozen foods, and sweets to the bare minimum. Opt for natural sweeteners or, better yet, satisfy your sweet tooth with whole fruits.
Physical activity is a vital part of losing weight after holidays and a necessity to keep your body well and healthy. A lot of people dread going to the gym, and if you’re one of them, don’t give up on staying active, as there are other fantastic alternatives.
Although going to the gym and combining strength training with cardio will give you impressive results, you can explore these alternatives:
- a casual walk – 200 calories per hour;
- a brisk walk – 370 calories per hour;
- yoga – 300 calories per hour;
- dancing – 300 calories per hour;
- cycling – 400 calories per hour.
Of course, the exact number of calories will vary depending on your body weight. Still, there are plenty of ways to burn calories and fuel up your weight loss without necessarily hitting the gym and having a strict workout regimen.
Although often overlooked, water can be one of your most valuable companions for reaching your weight loss goals. Firstly, water is a natural appetite suppressant and gives you the feeling of satiety.
It’s very often that people mistake hunger for thirst. If you don’t get an adequate amount of water, you might experience feelings of hunger, although food is not what you crave.
Furthermore, water can stimulate your metabolism, and having two cups of water before meals can speed it up, thus enhancing your weight loss efforts.
You should aim at drinking around 15 cups of water per day as a man or 12 cups per day as a woman.
Although the holidays always leave us with pleasant memories and a mental refill, their impact on our physical health is often far from ideal. Still, that doesn’t mean you should leave it as it is, but use it as an opportunity for growth and improvement.
Weight gain during holidays should be your motivator to make healthier choices, and with these adjustments, you’re taking large steps toward success.