Most of us gain weight during the holidays. We are tempted with so many treats that we fail to keep track of the total calories we consume. This is the main reason why we gain weight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. According to a recent study, the average American gains about one pound during this period. However, overweight or obese individuals can gain as much as five pounds or more.
If we don’t do something about it, these pounds can accumulate over the years. This means that most of the weight we gain can be traced back to what we ate during the holidays. Here are five ways to help you lose weight after overindulging during the holidays:
Eat healthy breakfast every day
Losing your holiday weight is easier when you start off your day with a healthy breakfast. A study involving obese individuals showed that almost 80 percent of those who successfully lost weight consumed breakfast every day. Eating breakfast leads to healthier food choices and increased physical activity throughout the day. Make sure you include at least 6 grams of fiber in every breakfast to help you lose weight and prevent chronic diseases.
Increase physical activities
Exercise has several health benefits. It helps control blood pressure, prevents diabetes, and improves mood. To lose weight, however, you need to burn more calories than you consume. According to the Mayo Clinic, you need about 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise per week in order to effectively lose the weight you gained during the holidays.
Consume more fiber-rich foods
Foods rich in fiber like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains make you feel fuller for a longer period of time, helping you control your total calorie intake. In addition, they also contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that regulate your body’s functions. To help you lose some weight, fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables; consume more beans, lentils, and peas; and make whole grain at least half of your total grain intake.
Make realistic goals
You might want to lose weight in just a couple of days, but setting too lofty goals can actually set back your progress. Start with specific, short term goals that you can realistically achieve. Aim to lose about 1 or 2 pounds per week. You can then set higher goals after you’ve achieved the easier ones.
Make a long-term commitment
Losing weight is one thing, but keeping it off is another. Maintaining your ideal weight means making lifestyle changes that involve physical, mental, and emotional commitment. Bear in mind that this process does not happen overnight. Stay motivated by looking at your end-goal and tracking your progress using a journal. You can also join friends and family who have similar goals.