The Secret to Holiday Eating Without Weight Gain

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Weight Loss
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

You can indulge over the holidays, without gaining weight.You’ve probably heard that the average American gains 5–10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Although that’s an exaggeration, people who struggle with their weight do put on more during the holiday season than at any other time of year, and they tend to keep it 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 prior to eating 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, committing to exercise 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: How do you avoid holiday weight gain?

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Overcoming Holiday Stress

Are Beverages Busting Your Diet?

 

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