Holiday gain is real. What’s more, a study shows that it takes more than five months to lose all the extra pounds you’ve gained during the holidays. Half of that weight will come off quickly after the holiday but the other half won’t shed until about five months later.
This might sound alarming and you’ll be tempted to go to extreme measures to undo all the damages you’ve been doing throughout the holiday season but the truth is, few reasonable, smart adjustments can do the trick so you can loosen those tight jeans after binging during the holiday season.
The circle of life after the HCG Diet
For most dieters, weight gain starts in the middle of November. Your calories start to spike during Thanksgiving and you’ll tend to stay on the same weight for the beginning of December. Your calorie intake will skyrocket towards the last few weeks of the year and so with your weight. As you might expect, your weight will be at its peak at New Year.
From there, it will pretty be much one slow downhill trek for the next 6 months. You’ll be able to lose only about half the weight you’ve gained in the first few months but the path towards your baseline will last until summer. The good thing is you have the HCG Diet at your back. Without the HCG Diet, you won’t get to your baseline weight until June and you’ll finally bottom out at your lowest weight towards the end of October. The same cycle will happen again and again.
The setpoint of your weight
Your body has a set point for your weight and as hard as you try to shift yourself lower, your set point goes up much more easily than it comes down. You will stop dieting and you’ll become more susceptible to marketing that pushes you to eat more. You add more stressors to your life and you’ll likely gain weight and not lose. You’ll end up depriving yourself of healthy foods and just kick start a vicious eating cycle that becomes impossible to escape.
Post-holiday indulgence: How to get started?
Choose to eat mindfully
This basically consists of taking in as many calories from unprocessed foods as possible, paying attention to your true hungry, avoiding sugar and getting complex carbohydrates such as whole grains. Mindful eating means you still get to have cakes and cookies on occasion. You don’t have to avoid carbs and sugars for good, you just eat them in moderation. You can have mashed or boiled potatoes, sweet potato casserole or pie in a reasonable quantity.
Eat on schedule
After binging on holiday foods, start your day with a healthy meal. Eat your breakfast within an hour of waking up and eat again every 3-5 hours. Enjoy an evenly spaced meal to regulate your blood sugar and insulin level, maximize your metabolism and level out your appetite. Don’t starve yourself up or it will backfire. Eating too little will cause your body to switch into starvation mode. Instead of burning additional calories, your body will save them up around your belly, arms and thigh for future use. It will also break down your muscle mass as a source of fuel, which also causes a metabolic slowdown. The key here is that you have to eat enough and at regular times.
Cut back but don’t cut out
Cutting back on carbs absolutely can force your body to burn proteins for fuel instead of using it to maintain and support your calorie-burning muscle. So, why not just cut them back instead of totally cutting them out? Pair your favorite proteins with a small serving of whole grains and veggies. I recommend ½ cup of whole grains such as wild rice, quinoa or barley with 2 cups of veggies and 3 ounces of lean protein such as beans, tofu, poultry or fish with a little bit of healthy fat like chopped avocados, sliced almonds or extra-virgin olive oil. You can sauté your veggie options such as grape tomatoes, onions and chopped asparagus and mushroom in a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil with garlic and herbs. Serve this over a cup of organic greens topped with a half cup of quinoa and diced chicken breast or a half cup of lentils. Drizzle it with balsamic vinegar and dust with black pepper.
The best exercise is the one you regularly do
Find a workout that suits best for you and stick with it. If it is swimming, biking or running, then, do it regularly to help stave your holiday weight gain. Start small and don’t worry about what the magazine is telling you the best form of exercise. That’s how you develop a habit. You find a way to keep doing things until it’s so ingrained that it’s not an effort.