Shedding the holiday ‘few pounds’

Archive, December, Month

Dedication and patience play important roles in losing excess “holiday” weight.

The festivities surrounding the run-up to midnight on Dec. 31 can give way to a celebrating on Jan. 1 and welcoming in the New Year.

New Year’s Day is the cap for most on what was a weeks-long holiday season, beginning for some as far back as Halloween.

Over that time, in the spirit (and excuse) of this holiday season, calories, oils and sugars could have found their way into our diets.

Just a few pounds

On average, a person can gain two to three pounds over that time, with some gaining upward to five pounds.

And though merriment and joy were had in the adding of those pounds, it could also be the beginning of continuing, unhealthy habits.

Many could potentially have a different experience when beginning to lose this added weight, so consider these recommendations when setting out on this health journey.

Be realistic

When setting out to lose weight, set realistic goals at a realistic pace. If weight loss is the goal, aim for 1 to 2 pounds per week and avoid “crash dieting” (which can potentially have the opposite result).

Don’t get discouraged

It always takes longer to lose weight than it takes to gain. Know that this might take time and don’t get discouraged. Check-in on your measurable progress and use it as encouragement to continue.

Prioritize activity

To achieve your weight loss (and overall health) goals, aim to do so through activities rather than crash dieting. Prioritize a combination of cardiovascular exercise and weight training and set a realistic schedule that you can stick to.

Portion control and balanced diet

Far from crash dieting and avoiding food altogether, portion control is being conscious of how much you’re eating as a way to prevent overeating. Focus on portion control and a balanced diet of lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables and fruits while avoiding snacking and excessive amounts of sugars, carbs and salts.

Sleep and avoid stress

A lack of quality sleep can lead to weight gain by disrupting the circadian rhythm and promoting insulin resistance. Rises in stress also releases cortisol, which can result in weight gain.


Soluble fibers help lose belly fat and prevent belly fat gain and can also lower blood sugar and increases the body’s response to insulin.

Don’t lose yourself

The goal may be to lose weight and get healthier, but not to completely overhaul yourself. The chances for success increase if you avoid making drastic changes. Ease into building a new routine of exercise and portion control, and still allow yourself the treats you enjoy. Just do so mindfully, remember your goals and be smart about it.