Last Updated on January 26, 2022
The holidays are a joyous time filled with family, friends, and plenty of good food. While everyone enjoys the celebrations during this time of year, many people also fear the dreaded weight gain accompanying hearty holiday meals and sugary treats.
Obesity is a scary thought for many people. Side effects such as sluggishness, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure make it easy to see why life insurance for overweight individuals is typically higher than coverage for those at a healthy weight.
The holidays tend to be an easy time for people to let their fitness and health goals get away from them. Being surrounded by love and delicious treats dulls the focus on your well-being.
As scary as the holidays may seem for your health, you don’t have to fear them. With the right tips, you can enjoy all the celebrations without worrying about the extra pounds.
Look at Your Portion Sizes at Holiday Meals
It’s often easy to eat mindlessly when large amounts of food are set out in front of you. Add in good conversation, perhaps a few cocktails, and it doesn’t take long to overeat and leave yourself feeling stuffed.
Consuming large portions of food in one sitting is hard on your body and is an easy way to gain extra weight when you eat those holiday dishes. You likely will have multiple holiday events to attend or host, where you will find yourself in the same situation. While overeating once in a while isn’t a huge cause for concern, doing so repeatedly can lead to extra weight gain.
Instead, try to limit the portions you are consuming. Though you will likely be distracted talking to those you love and enjoying their company, try to make a mental note of how much food you are actually putting on your plate. Being mindful can stop you from overeating and help you avoid unwanted weight.
Turn Your Holiday Recipes Healthier
In the age of the internet, almost anything you desire can be found online. Healthy versions of your favorite foods are no exception. Find a healthier recipe alternative if there’s a holiday meal or treat you feel overly guilty eating but simply don’t want to give up.
Many creative and talented people have found ways to significantly reduce calories and sugar in foods without sacrificing the taste — all you have to do is get cooking. And if you can’t find the perfect alternative, you can always get creative and make your own.
With a bit of research, you can find ingredients that you can easily swap with healthier options. The process might be some trial and error, but with a little effort, you can turn just about any time-honored traditional dish into a more health-friendly meal.
Finding a more nutritious alternative can be a new tradition you start with your loved ones as well. Inviting your friends or family over to help you find the perfect healthy version of your favorite recipes can be a great bonding experience.
Swapping out unhealthy foods for more low-fat options will help you feel better about your meal choices during the holidays. You can reach for one more sweet without guilt, knowing that you are avoiding potential holiday weight gain with healthier alternatives.
Don’t Lose Your Fitness Routine During the Holidays
The holidays often entail bouncing from location to location, visiting friends and relatives. With so much to do, it can be easy to lose track of your fitness goals. You may typically head to the gym in the evening, except now your evenings are filled with family time.
While there is nothing wrong with visiting those you love as much as possible, especially during the holidays, it’s also essential to keep up with your fitness routine if you hope to keep the extra weight away.
You may have to adjust your workout regimen to stay on track. If you consistently work out in the evenings but now find yourself with other plans, try fitting your exercise in earlier in the morning. This way, you don’t have to sacrifice your fitness routine or your time with loved ones.
You can also explore alternative ways to get your exercise in while spending time with your family or friends. Rather than meeting at someone’s home, try suggesting a meetup at your local park or hiking area. You can spend time with the ones you love while also getting a great workout.
Keeping up with working out — whether you’re working out at home or in the gym — will not only help you feel better overall but can also be a great way to avoid unwanted weight gain during the holiday season.
Avoid Holiday Leftovers in Your Home
Temptation can be hard to resist, and holiday leftovers are no exception. Having a ton of food sitting around your home makes it easy to keep snacking long after the party is over. A bite here and there throughout the day doesn’t seem like much, but they can quickly add up.
You will likely have tons of leftovers handed to you as you leave your loved one’s homes, or you may find massive amounts of food leftover after hosting your own holiday get-together. The best way to avoid a house full of holiday food is to turn down large amounts of food to take home or give your own extras to your friends and family.
Asking your relatives to make you a tiny to-go plate is an easy way to avoid seeming rude while still avoiding holiday food overload. Though it can be hard to say no to dishes piled high with extra food, leaving the leftovers out of your house can help you avoid unwanted holiday weight gain.
Forgetting Holiday Fear
Spending time with the ones you love is an excellent part of the holiday season. From family get-togethers to parties with friends, it’s essential to enjoy every moment spent with those who mean the most to you.
Worrying about the extra weight gain that can often come with the holidays can be hard to avoid.
As much enjoyment as you get from being around the ones you love, overeating and avoiding exercise can leave you feeling a few pounds heavier. Of course, being overweight is just one of several conditions that can influence life insurance. Even if you don’t gain weight, unhealthy habits can and will increase your premiums.
Choosing smaller portions, finding healthier food alternatives, keeping up with your fitness, and leaving the leftovers with your loved ones are great ways to ensure you are staying on track with your weight and health goals. By doing any of these tips, you can leave your fear of the holidays in the past.
Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site, EffortlessInsurance.com. She loves fitness almost as much as she loves the holidays and enjoys sharing her health tips with others.