holiday weight gain

3 Holiday Weight Loss Tips that Often Backfire

The Fit Rebel Diet-Free Healthy Eating / Fat Loss/ Nutrition 1 Comment

This is the time of yea when the diligent dieter feels a sense of impending doom.

The tidal wave of holiday patties and treats is the ultimate threat to those who wish to become leaner or maintain the weight loss they have accomplished.

While some of these tips are decent enough, some make about as much sense as getting more energy by sticking a butter knife in a power outlet.

Here are the 3 biggest offenders:

-Arrive at the party already full

The idea is that if you arrive at the big party while hungry then you’ll over eat.
While I agree that being really hungry can lead to over eating this is one strategy that can really backfire.
First off, making sure you are full before going to a party with food is like making sure your credit cards are maxed out before you go on vacation.

The strategy is that arriving full is about eating less through controlling your appetite.

I don’t know about you,but I seldom eat my moms Christmas cookies or have a second helping of eggnog because I am hungry or thirsty.

I take the opposite approach and make sure I’m hungry. That way I’m much more likely to use the calories I do eat rather the store them.

-Workout first

I’ve done more than one post on the danger of relying on exercise as a weight management tool.
Sure we burn calories through exercise but the tendency to over estimate how many calories we burn is just too strong.
On top of that, we just don’t burn calories all that fast. Even at a red line intensity I’d be lucky to burn 1,000 calories in an hour.

1000 calories might seem like a lot but it’s just a couple of crab cakes and a few glasses of wine,
Not saying the workout won’t help, but pinning hopes of weight control on a few extra workouts isn’t a strong way to hedge caloric bets

-Drink a glass of water

This strategy is personal proof that I’m a slow learner. I’ve used this trick so many times over the years and it’s never worked in the slightest.
Again, it boils down to the idea that suppressing appetite is the single key to eating less.
Even if that was the solution, there’s not much satiety to be had in a few glasses of water. It’s not like it has much caloric value or nutritional compounds that require digestion. If there was ever a substance that was guaranteed to not make you feel satisfied it would be water.

The risk of these three strategies (and many more) is that they can become a dietary life preserver that we pin our hopes of salvation on. The problem is that they often have far too many leaks. Relying on them may set up a false sense of security.

Kind of ironic considering I used to search for those holiday dieting tips for more control and security so I wouldn’t have to worry about gaining weight during the holidays.

Guess I’ll just have to going back to planning, listening to my body and working hard.

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Comments 1

  1. Laurie Mackeson

    It is good to revisit some articles after time has passed and progressed has been made. I def fell into the category of people whose healthy relationship with food was slowly eroded by bad decisions after bad decisions. I hope you enjoy my own strategies the above Tips (that can backfire).

    Solution to Tip #1 – (i) Calorie hack (for that day, the days leading up or the next day/s) (ii) ONLY Consume items you like (make every kJ ‘count’) (iii) Spend your time socializing/singing/dancing rather than with a drink/food item in your hand.

    Solution to Tip#2 (i) Medium intensity workouts help me feel less hungry when I go out (ii) Add (a short) extra period of time to your workouts before/after the party. (iii) A low/medium intensity workout the next day helps put my body and mind back on track after a night out.

    Solution to Tip#3 (i) Drinking water INSTEAD of cal/kJ laden drinks helps you enjoy the food more and helps you sleep better that night. (ii) Making sure I am well hydrated AND I have 1 bottle of water which I consume. When that is done, responsible drinking of party drinks is fine. (iii) Setting time parameters for my attendance helps consume less frantically. 1.5 (non-water) drinks for every hour I am at the party is the ‘right amount’ for me to enjoy and relax at the gathering.

    I am interested to hear the strategies other people use to help them enjoy the party – before/during/after.

    Cheers – Laurie

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