When you’re known as the family health nut, it’s nearly impossible to not be consumed with guilt this holiday season—especially during Christmas time. Christmas sweater parties come out from every corner. Candy canes dangle in the air, and on the table lies rows and rows of sweets and treats. Everyone around you is enjoying the holiday spirit with an extra helping of Christmas pie. You’d love to join them, but you’re worried you’ll be just throwing all your hard work in the trash. Well, here’s how to not feel guilty this Christmas.
- Think of Christmas as another cheat day. That’s because…it is! Listen, guys. Freaking out about holiday weight-gain is like freaking out that you made your bed this morning (or at least, you should have!). Holidays are MEANT for eating! Think about it: what brings people more together than food does? There’s a whole day dedicated to being thankful for having family and food. You know how miserable life would be without these two? Enjoy heaps of food while conversing with family and friends. Just make sure to steer away from politics and religion, of course.
- Do not eat like it’s Christmas time all week long. You’ve probably heard that people tend to gain around 5 pounds over the holidays. There are two things you should know about this statement. First of all, the weight gain is not over Christmas alone. One day of binge eating won’t offset you from your health goals. It’s the unhealthy eating on a regular basis and the Netflix and chill that causes weight gain. Isn’t it funny how no one talks about weight gain in the summer? Even with barbecues in the 4th of July and Memorial Day, no one really mentions weight gain like that. Sure, the winter holidays may be more food-centric, but it’s not Christmas alone that contributes to weight gain. It’s what happens after it.
Secondly, it’s just media and weight-loss companies fear-mongering us. On average, people will gain a pound over the holidays, according to Stanford University.
In fact, you have to really overeat in order to gain a noticeable amount of weight. Mayo Clinic states that there are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat. So if you’re really worried about gaining weight, know that you have to eat 3,500 calories in addition to what you normally eat in a day. Let’s say you have a plate of macaroni and cheese (around 300 calories according to USDA), two sugar cookies (226), 3 small chicken legs (240 calories) collard greens (15 calories), and potato salad (around 350 calories). You’re pushing about 1,131 pounds.
- Continue life as you normally would and exercise. If you really think you need to discipline yourself after splurging, hit your workouts with full speed the next day! Don’t fall into the “oh, I just ate (yesterday); I’m going to work out next week.” You don’t have to do nothing the day after Christmas. Eating whatever you want should be your motivation to get back on track. Go for a jog or get a few more cheat reps in at the gym. The weight and the unhealthiness will only catch up to you if you continue to sit still, so get moving and exercise.
It’s Christmas. Eat well, build relationships, and enjoy life!