Did you know that the average amount of weight gained by people over a holiday break can be anywhere between 5 – 15 pounds (roughly 2 – 7 kilograms)?
Considering a pound of fat is roughly the same volume as 4 sticks of butter, you can get a general idea of how this might look on your body. If you’re really keen, try strapping 4 sticks of butter on to your problem areas and you’ll get a great visual of how this might look.
If you’re not keen on the idea of carrying around this kind of extra weight because let’s face it – it can look unsightly, then you’ll want to read on to learn about why we tend to gain weight when on holidays, and how to avoid this all too common occurence.
Weight Gain – The Unseen, Unnoticed, Unwanted
Weight gain has a nasty habit of creeping up on you.
I like to think that if weight gain were a person, he or she would be one of those really quiet people that somehow have the eerie ability to move without making a sound – you know the kind that give you a fright when you turn around and they’re standing right there?
Weight gain is the same – it too easily goes unseen and unnoticed because it is so gradual and you see yourself in the mirror everyday.
It’s not until something concrete happens – like a comment from a friend or relative who hasn’t seen you for a while, or your favorite jeans suddenly don’t fit anymore – that you realize that you may have put on a few pounds.
As for being unwanted, unintentional weight gain (the bad kind, which is usually in the form of fat) gets a bad rap because it doesn’t really look any good. It manifests as flabby, soft, uncontrolled blow outs in all the wrong places, and just looks bad in general.
Where All That Fat Goes
Do you know where your fat storage areas are? People tend to gain weight in a certain order, meaning that an individual will often start storing fat on some areas of their bodies before others, and if they later are able to lose the weight, they do it in the reverse order.
Men tend to gain weight in the abdominal area. For women, the hips, butt and thighs are problem areas.
Holidays Love to Bring the Weight Gain
Holidays and weight gain unfortunately tend to go hand-in-hand. Why is it so?
One reason is that on holidays are usually a chance to ‘let yourself go’, ‘relax’, or ‘take it easy’. While this can be great for your stress levels, it may not be so great for your waistline.
I don’t know about you but whenever I have holidays I tend to enjoy whatever food I want and eat as much as I like, when I like. Hey, I’m on holidays! You know the saying: When in Rome..
To top it off, any form of exercise routine that I might have settle in to quickly gets thrown out the window. It’s hard to keep a routine up when you’re on holidays because you are often in a different environment, whether it be overseas, interstate or out of town, in a hotel, or at a friend or relative’s house. All of these make it difficult to go to the gym or even work out at home, so any intentions you may have to exercise easily fall to the wayside.
This is exactly why your weight can quickly start ballooning up. The combination of extra calories from foods (sweets in my case) and lack of exercise (sleeping doesn’t count), puts you smack bang in the middle of fat-storing territory pretty quickly.
And how often do you get back from holidays thinking it’s time to get back into the swing of things and start up your exercise routine again, only to keep putting it off day after day? “I’ll start tomorrow” is a common excuse (I know from experience, because I use this one all the time!), but we all know that tomorrow never comes.
How to Avoid Weight Gain on Holidays
The good news is that you can avoid being one of the many who gain that extra 5-15 pounds of fat while on holidays! It is very possible to maintain your weight over the course of a holiday, and here’s how:
1) Be Aware of What You Eat
General awareness of what you are actually eating when you are on holidays is a simple and obvious tip, but it can be very effective. Go for lower calorie options where possible.
2) Eat Smaller Portions
Smaller portions will enable you to consume less calories overall.
3) Eat Slower
Eating slowly gives your brain a better chance of figuring out that you are actually full, without the usual requirement for you to keep stuffing your face until you literally feel sick.
4) Try to Incorporate Activities that Get You Moving
Okay, so exercise may be a write-off, but allow yourself that luxury and try to incorporate other activities that will get you moving anyway. Things like bike riding, roller skating, shopping, swimming and the like are all holiday-based activities that will give you some form of exercise and help reduce the amount of damage that all that delicious holiday food can bring with it.