3 Super Sneaky Sources of Holiday Weight Gain
Eggnog. Sugar cookies. Cocktails. Missed workouts. The party buffets. We're not going to bore you by running through the usual lineup of seasonal culprits who contribute to the holiday heft. What we want to talk about today are the sneakier causes of yuletide poundage. This the stuff that leads to the weight that seems to show up miraculously in January, just when you think you'd made it through the season in stellar form.
First of all, let’s just get this out of the way: as long as you are healthy at the end of the holiday season, you have made it through the season in stellar form — a few pounds be damned. (You may need to repeat this to yourself: there are greater tragedies in the world than gaining a bit of weight.)
However, if you’ve been working hard all year to build your lean, mean body — or, if you’ve just begun your foray into better health and fitness and want to try to keep the bulge at bay as much as possible — it's best to know what you may be up against.
Read on. Here are three covert causes of holiday weight gain.
1. Lack of Sleep
People sleep less over the holidays and when we aren't getting enough Z's, it shows. It shows under your eyes, in your mood and, overtime, in how your clothes fit. This probably isn't news to many of you by now, but chronic poor sleep has been linked to weight gain. By all means, go out and stay out late, but these nocturnal noel excursions should be the exception, not the rule. If you spend a few weeks being chronically exhausted, weight gain is almost inevitable.
Most of us are on the go all the time during the month of December. It's hard enough to remember to drink enough water when we're not up to our eyeballs in social commitments and holiday shopping; when we are, it can really take a toll on our hydration schedule. A properly hydrated body is a healthy body, but, overall, it's also a slimmer body. One of the main reasons for this is because when we are properly watered, we are not as likely to eat. Or overeat. Studies show thirsty people will often confuse hunger with thirst, so, this holiday season, make your trusty water bottle the Rudolph to your Santa Claus: don't travel without it.
The holiday season is the most stressful time of the year — especially for women. We’re not just saying that either. Research backs us up. While the human body can healthful and without consequence respond to short bouts of stress, if you’re constantly stressing out for a month straight, your body is going to react by storing fat instead of burning it. Simple as that.
Let’s be realistic: you’re not going to be able to avoid every single obstacle to your healthy lifestyle this holiday season. If we’re being honest, that’s half the fun! This said, if you don’t want to start January with some serious surplus, then take care to steer clear of most of these obstacles most of the time. Get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Drink at least 2L of water a day. Do what you can to lessen your mental load so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Do these, and you stand a much better chance of not sliding into the new year any weightier for the wear.
Want to make sure your healthy lifestyle stays on track? Then snag our new nutrition guide. It’s packed with 70+ amazing meal, snack and smoothie ideas to help you meal plan for success!
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