January 2 can be a scary day. So many things get out of control during the holidays; parties are filled with one too many cocktails, shopping trips with a few extra purchases, and meals with just one more bite, until all those extras add up to pounding hangovers, staggering credit card bills, and astonishingly tight waistbands.
While The New York Times reports that most Americans only gain an average of one pound over the holidays, it also reports that most Americans never lose that pound, meaning that over time, that extra weight compounds and leaves many of us in poor health, trying to figure out exactly how to get back to our best bodies.
Unfortunately, maintaining weight at the holidays isn’t as simple as eating vegetables and hitting the gym. Holiday meals are jam-packed with added fats and sugary sides so that even vegetables aren’t exactly safe from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Anyway, who wants to be the stick in the mud at the office holiday party nibbling on celery while everyone else rocks around the Christmas tree with cookies and eggnog?
Additionally, our lives are just too hectic around Christmas time for us to be as health-conscious as we’d like. Shopping, parties, and family gatherings take time that we can’t exactly borrow from work or caring for children, so we shave away gym time or get a little less sleep, both of which cause weight gain.
But the key to fighting off creeping holiday weight isn’t starving and scrimping; it’s staying in the moment. Stay mindful of what you eat this Yule season. Taste your food, enjoy it, and most importantly, quit when you’re full!
To help you stay on track this Christmas, we’ve listed the sneakiest ways the holidays trick you into overeating, so that you can hold on to your high holiday spirits even after the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
Saltz says that all the social gatherings around the holidays, from work parties to New Year’s Eve blowouts, lead us to drink more alcohol than normal, and we don’t always realize how many extra calories those holiday spirits add. Just three drinks around the mistletoe can add upwards of 500 calories to your daily intake!
The holidays offer so many delicious beverages, from eggnog to spiced cider, that we sometimes forget to drink water. Our bodies also sometimes confuse thirst for hunger, so we snack when we should be drinking, which could mean taking in calories we don’t need.