How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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Filed Under: Weight Loss
Last Reviewed 06/29/2014

You can indulge over the holidays, without gaining weight.You’ve probably heard that the average American has a holiday weight gain of 5–10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Although that’s an exaggeration, people who struggle with their weight tend to also experience more weight gain during the holiday season than at any other time of year, and they also tend to keep the weight gain on.

Now, I’m not going to suggest that you start a diet during the holidays—that’s just plain mean...

Instead, here’s a practical tip that will allow you to enjoy holiday indulgences without jeopardizing your weight or your health: Exercise before breakfast. This simple technique forces your body to burn stored fat for energy, rather than relying on the food you just ate.

The research has proven it. In a six-week Belgian study, volunteers who consumed a third more calories than they typically would (50 percent of total calories were from fat) and also engaged in vigorous exercise before breakfast four days a week didn’t gain any weight. On the other hand, participants who ate the same high-calorie, high-fat diet but didn’t exercise gained an average of one pound per week, and those who exercised after breakfast gained about half a pound per week.

Clearly, exercising before breakfast means you can feast and party with less guilt—and if you don’t overindulge, you’ll likely lose weight! Even better, if you stick with this healthy habit beyond the holiday season, you’ll be well on your way to achieving serious weight loss in the New Year.

Now it's your turn: Do you exercise before breakfast?

You may also be interested in:

Overcoming Holiday Stress

Are Beverages Busting Your Diet?

 

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