How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Filed Under: Weight Loss

How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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.

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DISCLAIMER: The content of is offered on an informational basis only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health provider before making any adjustment to a medication or treatment you are currently using, and/or starting any new medication or treatment. All recommendations are "generally informational" and not specifically applicable to any individual's medical problems, concerns and/or needs.

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