The holiday season probably helped you to rest and recharge your energy for the New Year, but it is also likely that it caused a weight gain of a few pounds, as it is often difficult to resist to holiday treats.
According to a study by the scientific journal “The New England Journal of Medicine”, most people who gain weight over the holidays don't lose it. During their adult life, the average adult gains 0.5-1kg in weight every year. So, this annual weight gain could at least in part be due to holiday weight gain.
The news are even worse for those who are overweight. People who have a healthy body weight gain on average half a kilo during the holidays. However, those who are overweight tend to gain 2-2.5 kg during the festive period.
If you gained weight over the holidays, now is the right time to apply some simple rules that will help you to return to your pre-holiday body weight.
- Begin your day with a balanced breakfast. This can include a slice of wholewheat bread, one egg and 1-2 servings of fruit, or a yoghurt with fruit, oats and raw almonds.
- Plan out your meals for the day and try not to skip a meal, especially lunch. If you are not at home, opt for a salad with tuna, salmon or chicken, accompanied by some steamed vegetables or legumes with some wholewheat bread.
- Always carry raw nuts with you, as these are the ideal snack. They offer many nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E and minerals, and studies have shown that nuts can contribute to reducing hunger by reducing the levels of the hormone grelin, which activates the sensation of hunger in the body.
- Hydrate yourselves constantly. Make sure you drink enough water and other liquids such as white tea.
- Mild aerobic exercise is a great way to lose and/or maintain weight. Add some more walking or jogging into your daily routine. 30-45 minutes a day on most days of the week may be sufficient to help you improve your mood and lose that extra weight you gained over the holidays.