The Christmas season is coming and with it the excesses, the reality is that many of us are concerned about possible weight gain. However, according to experts, having a dietary mindset problem on vacation (or really at any time) leads us to overthink what we are eating. This not only takes away the enjoyment of these delicious traditional dishes that we can enjoy only once a year, the biggest problem is that it is a configuration that leads us to think that we need to “compensate” those tastes with other types of unhealthy behaviors that lead to the dreaded rebound effect. Based on this, we undertook the task of compiling the Top 5 misconceptions to put aside during the holiday season, and that they have actually hurt us for a long time. Remember that the best thing you can do is enjoy the season and the family, with joy and always seeking balance.
1. Myth # 1: You are destined to enter 2022 in bigger jeans.
One of the main beliefs that revolves around seasonal excesses is that they lead to an extreme increase in tempo and this is completely false. According to experts and various research papers, it is highly unlikely to gain a lot of weight while on vacation. However, it is important to be aware of those eating behaviors that it is important to limit, since they are usually related to a few extra inches: a high consumption of salty, sugary and fatty foods, and alcohol, cause bloating and water retention, which can give us the sensation of weight gain. True weight gain is solely due to fat or muscle, however the weight changes associated with fluid retention are often quite aggressive. The good news is that most of this “water weight” will go away once regular healthy habits are resumed. So it is very likely that by the beginning of 2022 you will continue to enter your jeans, some infallible tips are: drink plenty of water, eat fruits and vegetables, walk or do some physical activity and practice a few days of fasting. In a few days of resuming your normal routine, you will feel the same again.
2. Myth # 2: Seasonal sweets are the main reason we overeat
We all know that seasonal sweets and treats are the most irresistible, and in fact we often consider them the main triggers for weight gain. However, they are most likely not the main reason we overeat. It has been proven that the social factor is the reason, In other words, we tend to eat more when we are socializing than when we are alone: up to 48% more. To avoid unconsciously overdoing it, we can adjust some habits: avoid consuming too many snacks, watch out for cocktails and alcohol, don’t overdo carbohydrates, don’t try all desserts, and don’t eat your fill. Another great tip is to create other family activities such as board games, cards, and other types of activities that are not exclusively associated with food.
3. Myth # 3: Exercising too hard can skip any excess.
One of the main myths around seasonal excesses, is that we can exceed all we want and a good session of exercise and sweat will make us compensate. In fact, there is a very interesting study in this regard, led by researchers from Texas Tech University, who focused on studying the eating habits of a group of people: half of whom were physically active, during the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years. The results were overwhelming, as they found that both groups gained roughly the same amount of weight. More importantly, perceiving exercise as a way to cancel overeating is an unhealthy way of thinking. Therefore, eating our favorite foods is not something we should “punish” ourselves for. Try to mentally separate food from exercise and agree to stay active for all its benefits regardless of what the scale indicates.
4. Myth # 4: It’s good to detox after the New Year.
It is also not good to do it! Taking a sharp turn from sweets, meats, and pasta to a juice cleanse is a setup for disaster. These highly restrictive regimes are fast diets in disguise and can wreak havoc on your metabolism, leading to overeating and weight gain. They are not actually necessary: most of us lose about half our vacation weight in a month, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This is mainly because people revert to their normal eating habits. In cases where you need to lose more, it takes willpower, not misery.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.