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Five Ways to LOSE Weight This Holiday Season

By HERWriter Blogger
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Healthy Eating related image Photo: Getty Images

According to a November 2010 research news site, Science Daily, Americans will gain 5 to 15 pounds during the holiday season.

Starting with the leftover Halloween candy, continuing with turkey and pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, and ending it with Christmas cookies and New Year’s champagne, it is a wonder Americans don’t put on even more weight.

The biggest problem with the pounds gained of course is that Americans don’t lose the weight that they've gained. Year after year, five, 10, or 15 pounds can quickly add up to an obscene amount, and can push average Americans into the obese category.

Stefanie C. Barthmare, a psychotherapist with the Methodist Weight Management Center in Houston commented on this issue to Science Daily.

She explained the holiday weight gain by saying, "Many of us deal with depression, disappointment, loneliness and unfulfilled expectations during the holiday season. When our ideal holiday expectations are not met, we feel bad. That's when many of us resort to eating more food, more often, to keep the deeper stuff at bay."

On Yahoo! Shine, Fitness Magazine provided five simple ways anyone can put a halt to the weight gain and actually lose weight this winter.

1. Eat high content water foods. Focus on foods that contain 80 - 95 percent of water, like soup, fruits, vegetables, and hot cereal. The person eating can feel full because the water in those foods adds weight but does not add calories.

2. Get some sun. Getting enough sunlight can help suppress food cravings and curb the “curse of the comfort food” overeating mentality. Serotonin is a mood-boosting brain chemical that the average person gets from the sun and it is partly responsible for the feeling of fullness one gets. For those above the Mason-Dixon Line, even a heavy dose of artificial light can be beneficial.

3. Increase the amount of protein in the everyday diet. By doubling the amount of protein in one’s diet, from the typical 15 percent of total calories to 30 percent, the average person would save over 400 calories each day which equates to almost 1 pound weight loss each week. Fitness Magazine experts say to stick to lean protein like beans, fish, and skinless chicken breasts.

4. Perform some comfort food “makeovers”. There are numerous ways to slim down Americans’ favorite foods. Use apple sauce instead of oil in muffins and brownies. Add light sour cream to cream potatoes instead of butter. Cutting some of the butter, sugar, and/or salt in most recipes will help to cut calories and most likely won’t be missed.

5. Call in a professional. With motivation lacking and opportunities to get outside getting fewer and far between (especially cold climates), winter is a great time to add a trainer to the mix. If the budget for a trainer isn’t there, check out the local YMCA for a group fitness class.

Sources: Science Daily. Web. 21 November 2011. "Compulsive Eating and the Holiday Season can lead to Serious Weight Gain." http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101105152114.htm

Yahoo! Shine. Web. 21 November 2011. "Five Ways to Lose Weight This Winter." http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/5-ways-lose-weight-winter-155200897.html

Reviewed November 22, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

All Weight gain is causes by stubborn insulin.

1. If you cannot lose weight it is caused by stubborn insulin (regardless of if you have diabetes)
2. Diets like Weight Watchers do not reverse stubborn insulin.
3. When researchers used a Specialized diabetes diet in Holland people reverse stubborn insulin and lost weight naturally. This information is hidden by the drug companies
4. The Specialized diabetes diet was shown here
[Link removed by EmpowHER Moderator]

November 23, 2011 - 8:27am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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